Water research

New chlorinated amphetamine-type-stimulants disinfection-by-products formed during drinking water treatment.

PMID 22534122


Previous studies have demonstrated high removal rates of amphetamine-type-stimulants (ATSs) through conventional drinking water treatments; however the behaviour of these compounds through disinfection steps and their transformation into disinfection-by-products (DBPs) is still unknown. In this work, for the first time, the reactivity of some ATSs such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) with chlorine has been investigated under simulated and real drinking water treatment conditions in order to evaluate their ability to give rise to transformation products. Two new DBPs from these illicit drugs have been found. A common chlorinated-by-product (3-chlorobenzo)-1,3-dioxole, was identified for both MDA and MDEA while for MDMA, 3-chlorocatechol was found. The presence of these DBPs in water samples collected through drinking water treatment was studied in order to evaluate their formation under real conditions. Both compounds were generated through treatment from raw river water samples containing ATSs at concentration levels ranging from 1 to 15 ng/L for MDA and from 2.3 to 78 ng/L for MDMA. One of them, (3-chlorobenzo)-1,3-dioxole, found after the first chlorination step, was eliminated after ozone and GAC treatment while the MDMA DBP mainly generated after the postchlorination step, showed to be recalcitrant and it was found in final treated waters at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 5.8 ng/L.