Effects of chlorinated drinking water on the xenobiotic metabolism in Cyprinus carpio treated with samples from two Italian municipal networks.
Epidemiological studies have shown an association between consumption of disinfected drinking water and adverse health outcomes. The chemicals used to disinfect water react with occurring organic matter and anthropogenic contaminants in the source water, resulting in the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs). The observations that some DBPs are carcinogenic in animal models have raised public concern over the possible adverse health effects for humans. Here, the modulation of liver cytochrome P450-linked monooxygenases (MFO) and the genotoxic effects in erythrocytes of Cyprinus carpio fish exposed in situ to surface drinking water in the presence of disinfectants, such as sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), chlorine dioxide (ClO(2)) and peracetic acid (PAA), were investigated in winter and summer. A complex induction/suppression pattern of CYP-associated MFOs in winter was observed for all disinfectants. For example, a 3.4- to 15-fold increase was recorded of the CYP2B1/2-linked dealkylation of penthoxyresorufin with NaClO (10 days) and PAA (20 days). In contrast, ClO(2) generated the most notable inactivation, the CYP2E1-supported hydroxylation of p-nitrophenol being decreased up to 71% after 10 days' treatment. In summer, the degree of modulation was modest, with the exception of CYP3A1/2 and CYP1A1 supported MFOs (62% loss after 20 days PAA). The micronucleus (MN) induction in fish circulating erythrocytes was also analysed as an endpoint of genotoxic potential in the same fish population. Significant increases of MN induction were detected at the latest sampling time on fish exposed to surface water treated with chlorinate-disinfectants, both in winter (NaClO) and summer (NaClO and ClO(2)), while no effect was observed in fish exposed to PAA-treated water. These results show that water disinfection may be responsible for harmful outcomes in terms of MFO perturbation and DNA damage; if extrapolated to humans, they ultimately offer a possible rationale for the increased urinary cancer risk recorded in regular drinking water consumers.