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Occurrence and Formation of Trihalomethanes in Marine Aquaria Studied Using Solid-Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography‐Mass Spectrometry

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The occurrence and formation of chlorinated and brominated trihalomethanes (THMs) were studied in artificial saltwater and natural seawater marine aquaria as well as in groundwater and surface waters. A new headspace solid-phase microextraction method was used, which included gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry and provided method detection limits of less than 0.1 µg/L, with a signal-to-noise ratio of 3 to 5. The results showed that disinfection by using either chlorine or ozone caused a significant formation of THMs in situ. Speciation of the THMs was a strong function of the water matrix, with initial bromide concentrations playing a pivotal role. These results provide a tool for understanding and monitoring the formation of key disinfection byproducts in marine aquaria that may cause respiratory, eye irritation, or other health concerns.

Keywords: disinfection byproducts; gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry; marine water; solid-phase microextraction; trihalomethane

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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