Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of alternate drinking water disinfectants.Environ Health Perspect. 1982 Dec; 46:19-23.EH
The chlorination of surface waters is known to elevate trihalomethanes; consequently, chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is being considered as an alternative disinfectant. The primary products resulting from ClO2 disinfection of waters are chlorites (ClO2-) and chlorates (ClO3-). Studies in rats revealed that ClO2 is converted to chloride (Cl-), ClO2- and ClO3-. ClO2- and ClO3- are excreted as Cl-, ClO2- and Cl-, ClO2-, ClO3-, respectively. Radioactivity was rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract following the administration of 36ClO2 orally, and the half-life for the elimination of 36Cl from the rat was 44 hr, corresponding to a rate constant of 0.016/hr. After 72 hr, radioactivity was highest in plasma, followed by kidney, lung, and stomach. 36Cl in plasma reached a peak at 2 hr and 1 hr after oral administration of 36ClO2- and 36ClO3-, respectively. 36Cl excretion was greatest 24 hr after the administration of 36ClO3-, but in the case of 36ClO2-, the excretion probably represented saturation of the biotransformation and excretion pathway. A low activity in packed cells compared to plasma was detected in chlorate ingestion, rather than an even distribution in chlorite treatment. Chloroform determinations in rat blood after one year indicated that chloroform was significantly higher than control in the 100 and 1000 mg/l. ClO2 groups. However, no significant values were observed in the 1 or 10 mg/l. ClO2 and ClO2 metabolites groups. ClO2 and its metabolites are eliminated from the body more rapidly than chlorine, and they do not appear to increase trihalomethane concentrations at low dosages.