Exposure characterization of haloacetic acids in humans for exposure and risk assessment applications: An exploratory study

Shahid Parvez, Jeffrey L. Ashby, Susana Y. Kimura, Susan D. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Disinfected water is the major source of haloacetic acids (HAAs) in humans, but their inter- and intra-individual variability for exposure and risk assessment applications is underresearched. Thus, we measured HAAs in cross-sectional and longitudinal urine and water specimens from 17 individuals. Five regulated HAAs–mono-, di-, and trichloroacetic acid (MCAA, DCAA, and TCAA) and mono- and dibromoacetic acid (MBAA and DBAA)–and one unregulated HAA–bromochloroacetic acid (BCAA)–were measured. Urinary DCAA, MBAA, DBAA, and BCAA levels were always below the limits of detection (LOD). Measured levels and interindividual variability of urinary MCAA were higher than urinary TCAA. Longitudinal urinary specimens showed MCAA levels peaked in after-shower specimens, while TCAA levels remain unchanged. Correlation between urinary MCAA and TCAA was moderate but statistically significant. The prevalence of MCAA and TCAA in urine suggest they can be considered as biomarkers of HAA. Peak urinary MCAA in post-shower specimens suggest MCAA captures short-term exposure via dermal and/or inhalation, while urinary TCAA captures long-term exposure via ingestion. However, further research is warranted in a large pool of participants to test the reliability of MCAA as exposure biomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number471
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019



  • Disinfectant byproducts
  • Exposure assessment
  • Haloacetic acids
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • Risk assessment of haloacetic acids
  • Trichloroacetic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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