Occurrence and speciation of chlorination byproducts in marine waters and sediments of a semi-enclosed bay exposed to industrial chlorinated effluents


  • Manasfi Tarek
  • Lebaron Karine
  • Verlande Maxime
  • Dron Julien
  • Demelas Carine
  • Vassalo Laurent
  • Revenko Gautier
  • Quivet Etienne
  • Boudenne Jean-Luc


  • Cooling water
  • Marine sediments
  • Seawater pollution
  • Chlorination byproducts
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Industrial chlorinated effluents

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Chlorination of seawater is one of the most effective technologies for industrial biofouling control. However, chlorination leads to the formation of halogenated chlorination byproducts (CBPs) associated with potential risks to environmental and human health. The present study investigated the occurrence and distribution of CBPs in the Gulf of Fos, a semi-enclosed bay where chlorinated effluents of multiple industrial plants are discharged. Seawater samples (surface and bottom) were collected at 24 sampling stations, with some near industrial outlets and others dispersed throughout the bay. Sediment samples were also collected at 10 sampling stations. Physicochemical parameters including water temperature, pH, salinity, bromide content, and free and total residual oxidant were determined. Several chemical classes of CBPs including trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, haloacetonitriles, trihaloacetaldehydes, and halophenols were analyzed. Bromoform was the most abundant CBP in seawater, and it was detected at most of the sampling stations of the bay with highest concentrations occurring near the industrial effluent outlets. Dibromoacetic acid was the second most abundant CBP at most of the sites followed by dibromoacetonitrile. Other detected CBPs included tribromoacetic acid, bromochloroacetonitrile, and bromal hydrate. To our knowledge, the concentration of the latter CBP was reported here for the first time in the context of industrial seawater chlorination. In sediments, two bromine-containing halophenols (2-chloro-4-bromophenol and 2,4,6-tribromophenol) were detected at two sampling stations. Ecotoxicological assays and risk assessment studies based on the detected environmental concentrations are warranted to elucidate the impacts of marine CBP contamination.

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