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New aspects in deriving health-based guidance values for bromate in swimming pool water

Bromate, classified as a EU CLP 1B carcinogen, is a typical by-product of the disinfection of drinking and swimming pool water. The aim of this study was (a) to provide data on the occurrence of bromate in pool water, (b) to re-evaluate the carcinogenic MOA of bromate in the light of existing data, (c) to assess the possible exposure to bromate via swimming pool water and (d) to inform the derivation of cancer risk-related bromate concentrations in swimming pool water. Measurements from monitoring analysis of 229 samples showed bromate concentrations in seawater pools up to 34 mg/L. A comprehensive non-systematic literature search was done and the quality of the studies on genotoxicity and carcinogenicity was assessed by Klimisch criteria (Klimisch et al., Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 25:1–5, 1997) and SciRAP tool (Beronius et al., J Appl Toxicol, 38:1460-1470, 2018) respectively. Benchmark dose (BMD) modeling was performed using the modeling average mode in BMDS 3.1 and PROAST 66.40, 67 and 69 (human cancer BMDL10; EFSA 2017). For exposure assessment, data from a wide range of sources were evaluated for their reliability. Different target groups (infants/toddlers, children and adults) and exposure scenarios (recreational, sport-active swimmers, top athletes) were considered for oral, inhalation and dermal exposure. Exposure was calculated according to the frequency of swimming events and duration in water. For illustration, cancer risk-related bromate concentrations in pool water were calculated for different target groups, taking into account their exposure using the hBMDL10 and a cancer risk of 1 in 100,000. Convincing evidence was obtained from a multitude of studies that bromate induces oxidative DNA damage and acts as a clastogen in vitro and in vivo. Since statistical modeling of the available genotoxicity data is compatible with both linear as well as non-linear dose–response relationships, bromate should be conservatively considered to be a non-threshold carcinogen. BMD modeling with model averaging for renal cancer studies (Kurokawa et al., J Natl. Cancer Inst, 1983 and 1986a; DeAngelo et al., Toxicol Pathol 26:587-594, 1998) resulted in a median hBMDL10 of 0.65 mg bromate/kg body weight (bw) per day. Evaluation of different age and activity groups revealed that top athletes had the highest exposure, followed by sport-active children, sport-active adults, infants and toddlers, children and adults. The predominant route of exposure was oral (73–98%) by swallowing water, followed by the dermal route (2–27%), while the inhalation route was insignificant (< 0.5%). Accepting the same risk level for all population groups resulted in different guidance values due to the large variation in exposure. For example, for an additional risk of 1 in 100,000, the bromate concentrations would range between 0.011 for top athletes, 0.015 for sport-active children and 2.1 mg/L for adults. In conclusion, the present study shows that health risks due to bromate exposure by swimming pool water cannot be excluded and that large differences in risk exist depending on the individual swimming habits and water concentrations.

The complete article is published in the Journal "Archives of Toxicology" (2022).

Bibliographic information

C. Röhl, M. Batke, G. Damm, A. Freyberger, T. Gebel, U. Gundert-Remy, J. G. Hengstler, A. Mangerich, A. Matthiessen, F. Partosch, T. Schupp, K.-M. Wollin, H. Foth:
New aspects in deriving health-based guidance values for bromate in swimming pool water. 
in: Archives of Toxicology 2022. pages 1-37, PDF file, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-022-03255-9

download file "New aspects in deriving health-based guidance values for bromate in swimming pool water" (PDF, 1 MB, Not barrier-free file)

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