Long-term monitoring and risk assessment of N-nitrosamines in the finished water of drinking water treatment plants in South Korea

Hashemi, ShervinPark, Ju-HyunYang, MiheeKim, JoeunOh, YunsukPyo, Hee sooYang, Jiyeon
Issue Date
Springer Verlag
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v.29, no.3, pp.3930 - 3943
Approximately 99.1% of South Koreans have access to drinkable tap water from river basins. Due to such a high access rate, the South Korean government has been running, since 2013, a long-term program for monitoring the quality of tap water for drinking. Under this program, the maximum allowed concentrations of N-nitroso-di-n-methylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA) are defined and applied. In this study, the data from this monitoring program were used to investigate the changes in six N-nitrosamine substances in the finished water of 33 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in South Korea from 2013 to 2020, based on time and location. The effect of the applied water treatment steps on the appearance of N-nitrosamines was analyzed. The excess cancer risk (ECR) due to the oral intake of these substances was assessed. The results before the maximum allowed concentrations of NDMA and NMEA were defined showed that the oral intake ECR of these substances exceeded the carcinogenesis risk of one per one million people per year. After the maximum allowed concentrations of the substances were applied, the concentrations of the substances in the finished water of the DWTPs significantly dropped. The drinking water treated through sand filtration, and then with granular activated carbon, showed the highest efficiency in preventing the appearance of NDMA. Considering the potency of N-nitrosamines in tap water for drinking, the levels of these substances in the finished water of DWTPs in South Korea should be continuously monitored.
IN-SOURCE WATER; NDMA; PRECURSORS; SYSTEMS; Drinking water quality; Excess cancer risk; N-nitrosamines; NDMA; NMEA
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