Solutions to monitor water for potentially hazardous disinfection by-products (DBPs)
It is essential for safe drinking water to undergo some disinfection to inactivate pathogenic microbes and prevent water-borne diseases. Common disinfection processes include chlorination, chloramination, ozonation, and UV irradiation, and while these processes remove microbial risks; disinfecting agents can also react with the natural organic matter that could be present in the water, resulting in the creation of disinfection by-products (DBPs).
Many types of DBPs can be formed, depending on the composition of the water’s organic matter and the treatment process used, resulting in scientific research focused on identifying and understanding toxicologically significant DBPs.
Mass spectrometry offers the diversity to detect known, common DBPs, as well as survey for unknown DBPs, making it ideal for analysis of DBPs. Scientists look to LC/MS/MS as their key technique to survey water for DBPs to ensure that the disinfection processes does not result in added chemical hazards or carcinogens that could be harmful to humans.