Susan D Richardson

University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, United States

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Publications (97)389.63 Total impact

  • Mengting Yang · Jiaqi Liu · Xiangru Zhang · Susan Richardson
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    ABSTRACT: Toilet flushing with seawater results in saline wastewater, which may contain approximately 33‒50% seawater. Halogenated disinfection byproducts (DBPs), especially brominated and iodinated DBPs, have recently been found in chlorinated saline wastewater effluents. With the occurrence of brominated and iodinated DBPs, the adverse effects of chlorinated saline wastewater effluents to marine ecology have been uncertain. By evaluating the developmental effects in the marine polychaete Platynereis dumerilii directly exposed to chlorinated saline/freshwater wastewater effluents, we found surprisingly that chlorinated saline wastewater effluents were less toxic than a chlorinated freshwater wastewater effluent. This was also witnessed by the marine alga Tetraselmis marina. The toxicity of a chlorinated wastewater effluent to the marine species was dominated by its relatively low salinity compared to the salinity in seawater. The organic matter content in a chlorinated wastewater effluent might be partially responsible for the toxicity. The adverse effects of halogenated DBPs on the marine species were observed pronouncedly only in the "concentrated" chlorinated wastewater effluents. pH and ammonia content in a wastewater effluent caused no adverse effects on the marine species. The results suggest that using seawater to replace freshwater for toilet flushing might mitigate the "direct" detrimental effect of wastewater to the marine organisms.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: An extensive diversity of brominated disinfection by products (DBPs) were generated following electrochemical disinfection of natural coastal/estuarine water, which is one of the main treatment methods currently under consideration for ballast water treatment. Ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry revealed 462 distinct brominated DBPs at a relative abundance in the mass spectra of more than 1%. A brominated DBP with a relative abundance of almost 22% was identified as 2,2,4-tribromo-5-hydroxy-4-cyclopentene-1,3-dione (tribromoHCD), which is an analogue to several previously described 2,2,4-trihalo-5-hydroxy-4-cyclopentene-1,3-diones in drinking water. Several other brominated molecular formulas matched other known brominated DBPs, such as dibromomethane, which could be generated by decarboxylation of dibromoacetic acid during ionization, dibromophenol, dibromopropanoic acid, dibromobutanoic acid, bromohydroxybenzoic acid, bromophenylacetic acid, bromo-oxopentenoic acid and dibromopentenedioic acid. By comparing to previously described chlorine-containing analogues, bromophenylacetic acid, dibromo-oxopentenoic acid, and dibromopentenedioic acid were also identified. A novel compound at a 4 % relative abundance was identified as tribromoethenesulfonate. This compound has not been previously described as a DBP and its core structure of tribromoethene has been demonstrated to show toxicological implications. Here we show that electrochemical disinfection, suggested as a candidate for successful ballast water treatment, caused considerable production of some previously characterized DBPs in addition to novel brominated DBPs, although several hundred compounds remain structurally uncharacterized. Our results clearly demonstrate that electrochemical and potentially direct chlorination of ballast water in estuarine and marine systems should be approached with caution and DBP concentrations, fate and toxicity need to be further characterized.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of drinking water disinfection greatly reduced waterborne diseases. However, the reaction between disinfectants and natural organic matter in the source water leads to an unintended consequence, the formation of drinking water disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The haloacetaldehydes (HALs) are the third largest group by weight of identified DBPs in drinking water. The primary objective of this study was to analyze the occurrence and comparative toxicity of the emerging HAL DBPs. A new HAL DBP, iodoacetaldehyde (IAL) was identified. This study provided the first systematic, quantitative comparison of HAL toxicity in Chinese hamster ovary cells. The rank order of HAL cytotoxicity is tribromoacetaldehyde (TBAL) ≈ chloroacetaldehyde (CAL) > dibromoacetaldehyde (DBAL) ≈ bromochloroacetaldehyde (BCAL) ≈ dibromochloroacetaldehyde (DBCAL) > IAL > bromoacetaldehyde (BAL) ≈ bromodichloroacetaldehyde (BDCAL) > dichloroacetaldehyde (DCAL) > trichloroacetaldehyde (TCAL). The HALs were highly cytotoxic compared to other DBP chemical classes. The rank order of HAL genotoxicity is DBAL > CAL ≈ DBCAL > TBAL ≈ BAL > BDCAL > BCAL ≈ DCAL > IAL. TCAL was not genotoxic. Because of their toxicity and abundance, further research is needed to investigate their mode of action to protect the public health and the environment.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Environmental Science & Technology

  • No preview · Chapter · Jan 2015
  • Susan D. Richardson · Cristina Postigo

    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The transformation of the iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICM) iopamidol, iopromide, iohexol, iomeprol, and diatrizoate was examined in purified water over the pH range from 6.5 to 8.5 in the presence of sodium hypochlorite, monochloramine, and chlorine dioxide. In the presence of aqueous chlorine, only iopamidol was transformed. All other ICM did not show significant reactivity, regardless of the oxidant used. Chlorination of iopamidol followed a second order reaction, with an observed rate constant of up to 0.87 M(-1) s(-1) (±0.021 M(-1) s(-1)) at pH 8.5. The hypochlorite anion was identified to be the reactive chlorine species. Iodine was released during the transformation of iopamidol, and was mainly oxidized to iodate. Only a small percentage (less than 2% after 24 h) was transformed to known organic iodinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) of low molecular weight. Some of the iodine was still present in high-molecular weight DBPs. The chemical structures of these DBPs were elucidated via MS(n) fragmentation and NMR. Side chain cleavage was observed as well as the exchange of iodine by chlorine. An overall transformation pathway was proposed for the degradation of iopamidol. CHO cell chronic cytotoxicity tests indicate that chlorination of iopamidol generates a toxic mixture of high molecular weight DBPs (LC50 332 ng/μL).
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Environmental Science and Technology
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    ABSTRACT: The changes in dissolved organic matter (DOM) throughout the treatment processes in a drinking water treatment plant in Sweden and the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) were evaluated by using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry (resolution ~ 500,000 at m/z 400) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Mass spectrometric results revealed that flocculation induced substantial changes in the DOM and caused quantitative removal of DOM constituents that usually are associated with DBP formation. While half of the chromophoric DOM (CDOM) was removed by flocculation, about 4-5 mg L-1 total organic carbon remained in the finished water. A conservative approach revealed the formation of about 800 mass spectrometry ions with unambiguous molecular formula assignments that contained at least one halogen atom. These molecules likely represented new DBPs, which could not be prevented by the flocculation process. The most abundant m/z peaks, associated with formed DBPs, could be assigned to C5HO3Cl3, C5HO3Cl2Br and C5HO3ClBr2 by using isotope simulation patterns with the likely DBPs were produced and suggested the presence of halogenated polyphenolic and aromatic acid-type structures, which was supported by possible structures that matched the lower molecular mass range (max. 10 carbon atoms) of these DBPs. 1H-NMR before and after disinfection revealed about a 2% change of the overall 1H-NMR signals supporting a significant change of the DOM caused by disinfection. This study underlines that a large and increasing number of people are exposed to a very diverse pool of organohalogens through water - by both drinking and uptake through the skin upon contact. Non-target analytical approaches are indispensable to reveal the magnitude of this exposure and to test alternative ways to reduce it.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Environmental Science and Technology
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    ABSTRACT: Uptake and discharge of ballast water by ocean-going ships contribute to the worldwide spread of aquatic invasive species, with negative impacts on the environment, economies, and public health. The International Ballast Water Management Convention aims at a global answer. The agreed standards for ballast water discharge will require ballast water treatment. Systems based on various physical and/or chemical methods were developed for on-board installation and approved by the International Maritime Organization. Most common are combinations of high-performance filters with oxidizing chemicals or UV radiation. A well-known problem of oxidative water treatment is the formation of disinfection by-products, many of which show genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, or other long-term toxicity. In natural biota, genetic damages can affect reproductive success and ultimately impact biodiversity. The future exposure towards chemicals from ballast water treatment can only be estimated, based on land-based testing of treatment systems, mathematical models, and exposure scenarios. Systematic studies on the chemistry of oxidants in seawater are lacking, as are data about the background levels of disinfection by-products in the oceans and strategies for monitoring future developments. The international approval procedure of ballast water treatment systems compares the estimated exposure levels of individual substances with their experimental toxicity. While well established in many substance regulations, this approach is also criticised for its simplification, which may disregard critical aspects such as multiple exposures and long-term sub-lethal effects. Moreover, a truly holistic sustainability assessment would need to take into account factors beyond chemical hazards, e.g. energy consumption, air pollution or waste generation.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Chemosphere

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2014

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2014
  • Cristina Postigo · Susan D Richardson
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmaceuticals are emerging contaminants of concern and are widespread in the environment. While the levels of these substances in finished drinking waters are generally considered too low for human health concern, there are now concerns about their disinfection by-products (DBPs) that can form during drinking water treatment, which in some cases have been proven to be more toxic than the parent compounds. The present manuscript reviews the transformation products of pharmaceuticals generated in water during different disinfection processes, i.e. chlorination, ozonation, chloramination, chlorine dioxide, UV, and UV/hydrogen peroxide, and the main reaction pathways taking place. Most of the findings considered for this review come from controlled laboratory studies involving reactions of pharmaceuticals with these oxidants used in drinking water treatment.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Hazardous Materials
  • Xing-Fang Li · Susan D Richardson

    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Apr 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The HIWATE (Health Impacts of long-term exposure to disinfection byproducts in drinking WATEr) project was a systematic analysis that combined the epidemiology on adverse pregnancy outcomes and other health effects with long-term exposure to low levels of drinking water disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in the European Union. The present study focused on the relationship of the occurrence and concentration of DBPs with in vitro mammalian cell toxicity. Eleven drinking water samples were collected from five European countries. Each sampling location corresponded with an epidemiological study for the HIWATE program. Over 90 DBPs were identified; the range in the number of DBPs and their levels reflected the diverse collection sites, different disinfection processes, and the different characteristics of the source waters. For each sampling site, chronic mammalian cell cytotoxicity correlated highly with the numbers of DBPs identified and the levels of DBP chemical classes. Although there was a clear difference in the genotoxic responses among the drinking waters, these data did not correlate as well with the chemical analyses. Thus, the agents responsible for the genomic DNA damage observed in the HIWATE samples may be due to unresolved associations of combinations of identified DBPs, unknown emerging DBPs that were not identified, or other toxic water contaminants. This study represents the first to integrate quantitative in vitro toxicological data with analytical chemistry and human epidemiologic outcomes for drinking water DBPs.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    ABSTRACT: A developmental toxicity bioassay was used in three experiments to evaluate water concentrates for suitability in multigenerational studies. First, chlorinated water was concentrated 135-fold by reverse osmosis; select lost disinfection by-products were spiked back. Concentrate was provided as drinking water to Sprague-Dawley and F344 rats from gestation day 6 to postnatal day 6. Maternal serum levels of luteinizing hormone on gestation day 10 were unaffected by treatment for both strains. Treated dams had increased water consumption, and increased incidences of polyuria, diarrhea, and (in Sprague-Dawley rats) red perinasal staining. Pup weights were reduced. An increased incidence of eye defects was seen in F344 litters. Chemical analysis of the concentrate revealed high sodium (6.6 g/l) and sulfate (10.4 g/l) levels. To confirm that these chemicals caused polyuria and osmotic diarrhea, respectively, Na₂SO₄ (5-20 g/l) or NaCl (16.5 g/l) was provided to rats in drinking water. Water consumption was increased at 5- and 10-g Na₂SO₄/l and with NaCl. Pup weights were reduced at 20-g Na₂SO₄/l. Dose-related incidences and severity of polyuria and diarrhea occurred in Na₂SO₄-treated rats; perinasal staining was seen at 20 g/l. NaCl caused polyuria and perinasal staining, but not diarrhea. Subsequently, water was concentrated ∼120-fold and sulfate levels were reduced by barium hydroxide before chlorination, yielding lower sodium (≤1.5 g/l) and sulfate (≤2.1 g/l) levels. Treatment resulted in increased water consumption, but pup weight and survival were unaffected. There were no treatment-related clinical findings, indicating that mixtures produced by the second method are suitable for multigenerational testing.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Birth Defects Research Part B Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology
  • Maria C Valsania · Francesca Fasano · Susan D Richardson · Marco Vincenti
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    ABSTRACT: The reaction between ozone and the three cresol isomers was investigated in pure water. Cresols were selected as model substrates representing an important component of humic material. Cresols carry both a hydroxyl and a methyl group, each theoretically increasing the reactivity of ozone with the aromatic ring. Direct comparison of the aromatic ring and the methyl group reactivities was made possible by the analysis of reaction products. The substrate degradation kinetics was studied by preparing aqueous solutions of each cresol and treating them with ozone for increasing time periods. It had been hypothesized that hydroxybenzaldehydes and hydroxybenzoic acids could be possible degradation intermediates of cresols. To verify this hypothesis, the degradation kinetics of three hydroxybenzaldehydes and two hydroxybenzoic acids were also studied. The reaction products were studied using gas chromatography (GC)-electron capture negative ionization (ECNI)-mass spectrometry (MS) analysis after direct derivatization of the samples with 5-chloro-2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5-octafluoro-1-pentyl chloroformate (ClOFPCF). This new analytical approach enables the extraction and analysis of highly polar polycarboxylic and hydroxycarboxylic acids, as well as highly polar aldehydes and hydroxy aldehydes that are difficult to extract and measure using conventional methods. As such, this new approach offered insights into ozone reaction intermediates that had been previously hypothesized, but not confirmed. Several highly hydrophilic degradation intermediates were identified, including malic, citraconic, itaconic, malonic, methylmuconic, and tartronic acid, but no hydroxybenzaldehydes were observed. The results support a 3-stage mechanism previously hypothesized, which involves ring-opening of the phenolic group, followed by the generation of several intermediates of increasing oxidation state, finally leading to relatively stable products, such as malonic and oxalic acids. We demonstrated that oxidation of the methyl group does not occur during cresol degradation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Water Research
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    Susan D Richardson

    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Analytical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICM) were investigated as a source of iodine in the formation of iodo-trihalomethane (iodo-THM) and iodo-acid disinfection byproducts (DBPs), both of which are highly genotoxic and/or cytotoxic in mammalian cells. ICM are widely used at medical centers to enable imaging of soft tissues (e.g., organs, veins, blood vessels) and are designed to be inert substances, with 95% eliminated in urine and feces unmetabolized within 24 h. ICM are not well removed in wastewater treatment plants, such that they have been found at elevated concentrations in rivers and streams (up to 100 μg/L). Naturally occurring iodide in source waters is believed to be a primary source of iodine in the formation of iodo-DBPs, but a previous 23-city iodo-DBP occurrence study also revealed appreciable levels of iodo-DBPs in some drinking waters that had very low or no detectable iodide in their source waters. When 10 of the original 23 cities' source waters were resampled, four ICM were found--iopamidol, iopromide, iohexol, and diatrizoate--with iopamidol most frequently detected, in 6 of the 10 plants sampled, with concentrations up to 2700 ng/L. Subsequent controlled laboratory reactions of iopamidol with aqueous chlorine and monochloramine in the absence of natural organic matter (NOM) produced only trace levels of iodo-DBPs; however, when reacted in real source waters (containing NOM), chlorine and monochloramine produced significant levels of iodo-THMs and iodo-acids, up to 212 nM for dichloroiodomethane and 3.0 nM for iodoacetic acid, respectively, for chlorination. The pH behavior was different for chlorine and monochloramine, such that iodo-DBP concentrations maximized at higher pH (8.5) for chlorine, but at lower pH (6.5) for monochloramine. Extracts from chloraminated source waters with and without iopamidol, as well as from chlorinated source waters with iopamidol, were the most cytotoxic samples in mammalian cells. Source waters with iopamidol but no disinfectant added were the least cytotoxic. While extracts from chlorinated and chloraminated source waters were genotoxic, the addition of iopamidol enhanced their genotoxicity. Therefore, while ICM are not toxic in themselves, their presence in source waters may be a source of concern because of the formation of highly toxic iodo-DBPs in chlorinated and chloraminated drinking water.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Environmental Science & Technology
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    Susan D Richardson · Thomas A Ternes
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    ABSTRACT: This biennial review covers developments in water analysis for emerging environmental contaminants over the period of 2011-2013. Analytical Chemistry's policy is to limit reviews to a maximum of 250 significant references and to mainly focus on new trends. As a result, only a small fraction of the quality research publications could be discussed. I am excited to again have Thomas Ternes join me this year to cover the section on Pharmaceuticals and Hormones. Thomas coauthored the previous 2011 Review on Water Analysis,1 and as before, this Review is so much better with his contribution. We welcome any comments you have on this Review ( Numerous abstracts were consulted before choosing the best representative ones to present here. Abstract searches were carried out using Web of Science, and in many cases, full articles were obtained. A table of acronyms is provided (Table 1) as a quick reference to the acronyms of analytical techniques and other terms discussed in this Review, and Table 2 provides some useful websites.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Analytical Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Swimming pool disinfectants and disinfection by-products (DBPs) have been linked to human health effects, including asthma and bladder cancer, but no studies have provided a comprehensive identification of DBPs in the water and related that to mutagenicity. We performed a comprehensive identification of DBPs and disinfectant species in waters from public swimming pools in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, that disinfect with either chlorine or bromine and we determined the mutagenicity of the waters to compare with the analytical results. We used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to measure trihalomethanes in water, GC with electron capture detection for air, low- and high-resolution GC/MS to comprehensively identify DBPs, photometry to measure disinfectant species (free chlorine, monochloroamine, dichloramine, and trichloramine) in the waters, and an ion chromatography method to measure trichloramine in air. We assessed mutagenicity with the Salmonella mutagenicity assay. We identified > 100 DBPs, including many nitrogen-containing DBPs that were likely formed from nitrogen-containing precursors from human inputs, such as urine, sweat, and skin cells. Many DBPs were new and have not been reported previously in either swimming pool or drinking waters. Bromoform levels were greater in brominated than in chlorinated pool waters, but we also identified many brominated DBPs in the chlorinated waters. The pool waters were mutagenic at levels similar to that of drinking water (approximately 1,200 revertants/L-equivalents in strain TA100-S9 mix). This study identified many new DBPs not identified previously in swimming pool or drinking water and found that swimming pool waters are as mutagenic as typical drinking waters.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Environmental Health Perspectives

Publication Stats

7k Citations
389.63 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2015
    • University of South Carolina
      • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      Columbia, South Carolina, United States
  • 1991-2012
    • The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2003-2007
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • Department of Crop Sciences
      Urbana, IL, United States
  • 1992-2007
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2005
    • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
      • Engler Bunte Institute
      Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
  • 1991-2005
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency
      • • National Exposure Research Laboratory
      • • Office of Research and Development
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States