Abstract

This review summarizes major findings over the last decade related to nitrosamines in drinking water, with a particular focus on N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), because it is among the most widely detected nitrosamines in drinking waters. The reaction of inorganic dichloramine with amine precursors is likely the dominant mechanism responsible for NDMA formation in drinking waters. Even when occurrence surveys found NDMA formation in chlorinated drinking waters, it is unclear whether chloramination resulted from ammonia in the source waters. NDMA formation has been associated with the use of quaternary amine-based coagulants and anion exchange resins, and wastewater-impaired source waters. Specific NDMA precursors in wastewater-impacted source waters may include tertiary amine-containing pharmaceuticals or other quaternary amine-containing constituents of personal care products. Options for nitrosamine control include physical removal of precursors by activated carbon or precursor deactivation by application of oxidants, particularly ozone or chlorine, upstream of chloramination. Although NDMA has been the most prevalent nitrosamine detected in worldwide occurrence surveys, it may account for only ~5% of all nitrosamines in chloraminated drinking waters. Other significant contributors to total nitrosamines are poorly characterized. However, high levels of certain low molecular weight nitrosamines have been detected in certain Chinese waters suspected to be impaired by industrial effluents. The review concludes by identifying research needs that should be addressed over the next decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4433-4450
Number of pages18
JournalWater Research
Volume47
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

Keywords

  • Chloramination
  • Disinfection by-products
  • Drinking water
  • NDMA
  • Nitrosamines
  • PolyDADMAC
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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