A STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF POLYMERS ON POTENTIAL N-NITROSODIMETHYLAMINE
(NDMA) FORMATION AT WATER AND WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANTS
S. H. Park, S. Wei
C-H. Huang, B. Miazikoff, M. M. Aral
Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a semi-volatile organic chemical that is soluble in water. It was used as a commercial chemical in industry for several decades and also it is naturally occurring in the environment. More recently NDMA occurrence in wastewater treatment sludge is reported in the literature. In the USA concern over the formation of NDMA during the treatment is linked to a data reported by a water reclamation plant in Southern California. Since NDMA is considered to be a carcinogen this issue has become a significant concern to US regulatory agencies. The concern is based on the observation that although NDMA does not persist in the environment for long periods of time, it may persist in enclosed systems thus becoming a source of exposure through man made environmental pathways.
Currently research programs in US as well as Canada are focused on understanding the kinetic processes that may lead to the formation of NDMA in a water treatment system. There is some data in the literature that may link the formation of NDMA to polymers that are used during water treatment process. SNF FLOERGER is a producer of these polymers.
During a meeting between SNF FLOERGER personnel and Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory (MESL) research group several questions and concerns regarding NDMA formation in water treatment plants and potential exposure levels and pathways analysis issues were brought to the attention of the MESL research team. This study was conducted in an effort to address these concerns.
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