Pressure-Assisted Electrokinetic Injection For On-Line Enrichment in Capillary Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry: A Sensitive Method for Measurement of Ten Haloacetic Acids in Drinking Water

The chlorination of drinking water is necessary to control waterborne harmful microbial contaminants. The chlorination of water that contains natural organic matter and bromide can result in the production of Haloacetic acids (HAAs). HAA by-products are monitored by Health Canada due to their potential for adverse effects on human health following long-term exposure. In this study, Health Canada developed a simple and sensitive new method for measurement. It can detect much lower levels of 10 major HAAs (HAA10) in drinking water than previously achievable. Background contaminants were removed using a solid-phase clean-up prior to concentrating the samples using pressure-assisted electrokinetic injection (PAEKI). The concentrated samples were then separated by capillary electrophoresis and analyzed by mass spectrometry. With this technique, the HAAs in drinking water were enriched up to 20,000 fold, vastly increasing the ability to monitor low levels of these by-products [to the nanogram/Litre (ng/L) range). Due to the improved method detection limits for these 10 HAAs, six HAAs including monochloro- (MCAA), dichloro- (DCAA), trichloro- (TCAA), monobromo- (MBAA), bromochloro- (BCAA), and bromodichloroacetic acids (BDCAA) were detected in samples of Ottawa city tap water at levels below those set in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. This simple and sensitive method will be useful for monitoring of HAAs in future drinking water surveys to assess water quality. Results of the research are published in Analytica Chimica Acta ,2011 Nov 7;706(1):176-83.

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