Underestimated risk from ozonation of wastewater containing bromide: Both organic byproducts and bromate contributed to the toxicity increase

Qian-Yuan Wu*, Yu-Ting Zhou, Wanxin Li, Xiangru Zhang, Ye Du*, Hong-Ying Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Ozonation is widely used in wastewater treatment but the associated byproduct formation is a concern. When ozonation is used in the presence of bromide, bromate is generally considered as a major byproduct, and few studies have examined the toxicity of organic byproducts. This study was designed to investigate the cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and DNA/RNA oxidative damage to Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells of organic extracts from ozonated wastewater in the absence or presence of bromide. Ozonation effectively detoxified secondary effluents containing no bromide. However, ozonation significantly increased the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of the effluents spiked with a bromide concentration as low as 100 μg/L, compared with the bromide-free effluent. When the bromide concentration in the effluent was increased to 2000 μg/L, ozonation resulted in 1.4–1.5 times the cytotoxicity and 1.5–5.0 times the genotoxicity of the non-ozonated secondary effluent. Besides, the oxidative stress (including reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species) and DNA/RNA oxidative damage also became more severe and a high level of 8-hydroxy-(deoxy)guanosine was detected in the CHO cell nucleus in the presence of bromide. Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity were found to increase with the formation of total organic bromine (TOBr). When the CHO cells were exposed to both the organic byproducts and bromate formed from wastewater containing 500 and 2000 μg/L bromide, bromate significantly increased oxidative stress and DNA/RNA oxidative damage at relatively high concentration factors, suggesting both organic byproduct and bromate can contribute to toxicity increase. During ozonation of the effluent containing bromide, particular attention should be paid to the organic byproducts such as TOBr.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Underestimated risk from ozonation of wastewater containing bromide: Both organic byproducts and bromate contributed to the toxicity increase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this