Human health effects of residual carbon nanotubes and traditional water treatment chemicals in drinking water

The volume of industrial and domestic wastewater is increasing significantly year by year with the change in the lifestyle based on mass consumption and mass disposal brought about by the dramatic development of economies and industries. Therefore, effective advanced wastewater treatment is required because wastewater contains a variety of constituents such as particles, organic materials, and emulsion depending on the resource. However, residual chemicals that remain during the treatment of wastewaters form a variety of known and unknown byproducts through reactions between the chemicals and some pollutants. Chronic exposure to these byproducts or residual chemicals through the ingestion of drinking water, inhalation and dermal contact during regular indoor activities (e.g., showering, bathing, cooking) may pose cancer and non-cancer risks to human health. For example, residual aluminium salts in treated water may cause Alzheimer’s disease (AD). As for carbon nanotubes (CNTs), despite their potential impacts on human health and the environment having been receiving more and more attention in the recent past, existing information on the toxicity of CNTs in drinking water is limited with many open questions. Furthermore, though general topics on the human health impacts of traditional water treatment chemicals have been studied, no comparative analysis has been done. Therefore, a qualitative comparison of the human health effects of both residual CNTs and traditional water treatment chemicals is given in this study. In addition, it is also important to cover and compare the human health effects of CNTs to those of traditional water treatment chemicals together in one review because they are both used for water treatment and purification.

Authors: Simate, Geoffrey S.; Iyuke, Sunny E.; Ndlovu, Sehliselo; Heydenrych, Mike; Walubita, Lubinda F. ;Full Source: Environment International 2012, 39(1), 38-49 (English) ;