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Triclosan Reactivity in Chloraminated Waters

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posted on 2006-04-15, 00:00 authored by Aimee E. Greyshock, Peter J. Vikesland
Triclosan, widely employed as an antimicrobial additive in many household personal care products, has recently been detected in wastewater treatment plant effluents and in source waters used for drinking water supplies. Chloramines used either as alternative disinfectants in drinking water treatment or formed during chlorination of nonnitrified wastewater effluents have the potential to react with triclosan. This study examined triclosan reactivity in chloraminated waters over the pH range of 6.5−10.5. Experimental and modeling results show that monochloramine directly reacts with the phenolate form of triclosan; however, the reaction is relatively slow as evinced by the second-order rate constant kArO-NH2Cl = 0.025 M-1 s-1. Kinetic modeling indicates that for pH values less than 9.5, reactions between triclosan and two monochloramine autodecomposition intermediates, hypochlorous acid (kArO-HOCl = 5.4 × 103 M-1 s-1) and dichloramine (kArO-NHCl2 = 60 M-1 s-1), are responsible for a significant percentage of the observed triclosan decay. The products of these reactions include three chlorinated triclosan byproducts as well as 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol. Low levels of chloroform were detected after 1 week at pH values of 6.5 and 7.5. The slow reactivity of triclosan in the presence of chloramines explains the recalcitrance of this species in nonnitrified wastewater effluents.

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