Exposure Pathways, and Methods for Measuring Human Exposure to DBPs
It has not been definitively established whether or not there are adverse health effects caused by human exposure to DBPs. A large part of the problem in conducting studies in this area is that it is difficult to measure actual human exposure to these compounds. DBPs in water exist in low concentrations along with many other chemicals, and humans are exposed to them through multiple routes.(1) Sampling of the water supply as required by the USEPA Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule is one method for monitoring exposure. All water utilities are required to prepare annual Consumer Confidence Reports about the quality of the water in that area. A consumer concerned about the level of DBPs in the local water supply should consult the report from the local water utility.
1. Vieuwenhuijsen, Mark J., Toledano, Mireille B., Eaton, Naomi E., Fawell, John, & Elliott, Paul. Chlorination disinfection byproducts in water and their association with adverse reproductive outcomes: a review. Occup Environ Med 2000; 57: 73-85.
2. Miles, A.M., Singer, P.C., Ashley, D.L., Lynberg, M.C., Mendola, P., Langlois, P.H., & Nuckols, J.R. Comparison of trihalomethanes in tap water and blood. Environmental Science & Technology 2002; 36(8): 1692-8.
3. Backer, L.C., Ashley, D.L., Bonin, M.A., Cardinali, F.L., Kieszak, S.M., & Wooten, J.V. Household exposures to drinking water disinfection by-products: whole blood trihalomethane levels. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 2000; 10(4): 321-6.