Chemical disinfection of water generates harmful chemical compounds, known as disinfection by-products (DBPs). One class of DBPs is constituted by haloacetic acids (HAAs), the second major group in prevalence (after trihalomethanes) detected in finished drinking water. In this article, we report the results obtained in the evaluation of the chromosome damage induced by three monohaloacetic acids, namely iodoacetic acid (IAA), bromoacetic acid (BAA) and chloroacetic acid (CAA). To evaluate the induction of chromosome damage, we used the cytokinesis-block micronucleus test that measures the ability of genotoxic agents to induce both clastogenic and/or aneugenic effects. No previous data exist on the effects of these compounds on human chromosomes. We tested five doses of each HAA, in addition to the negative and positive controls. The highest dose tested for each HAA was that immediately lower than the dose producing total cytotoxicty. Our results show that none of the three HAAs tested was able to increase significantly the frequency of micronucleus in binucleated TK6 cells, the rank order in decreasing cytotoxicity was IAA > BAA >> CAA. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved.