Hazard assessment of three haloacetic acids, as byproducts of water disinfection, in human urothelial cells

Alicia Marsà, Constanza Cortés, Alba Hernández, Ricard Marcos

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19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are compounds produced in the raw water disinfection processes. Although increased cancer incidence has been associated with exposure to this complex mixture, the carcinogenic potential of individual DBPs remains not well known; thus, further studies are required. Haloacetic acids (HAAs) constitute an important group among DBPs. In this study, we have assessed the in vitro carcinogenic potential of three HAAs namely chloro-, bromo-, and iodoacetic acids. Using a long-term (8 weeks) and sub-toxic doses exposure scenario, different in vitro transformation markers were evaluated using a human urothelial cell line (T24). Our results indicate that long-term exposure to low doses of HAAs did not reproduce the genotoxic effects observed in acute treatments, where oxidative DNA damage was induced. No changes in the transformation endpoints analyzed were observed, as implied by the absence of significant morphological, cell growth rate and anchorage-independent cell growth pattern modifications. Interestingly, HAA-long-term exposed cells developed resistance to oxidative stress damage, what would explain the observed differences between acute and long-term exposure conditions. Accordingly, data obtained under long-term exposure to sub-toxic doses of HAAs could be more accurate, in terms of risk assessment, than under acute exposure scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-78
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2018


  • Bromoacetic acid
  • Cell transformation
  • Chloroacetic acid
  • Haloacetic acids
  • Iodoacetic acid
  • T24 cells


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