Perchlorate and chlorate assessment in drinking water in northern Chilean cities

TitlePerchlorate and chlorate assessment in drinking water in northern Chilean cities
AuthorDiana Muñoz, Felipe Torres, Natalia Tapia, Marcela Vega, Cristóbal Alvear, Gonzalo Pizarro, Pablo Pastén, Sandra Cortés, Alejandra Vega, Raúl Calderón, Robert Nerenberg, Ignacio Vargas.
Line(s)Recursos Críticos
Year of Publication2023
Journal Title

Environmental Research

Drinking water; Emerging contaminants (ECs); Oxyanions; The atacama desert; Water quality.
AbstractPerchlorate and chlorate are endocrine disruptors considered emerging contaminants (ECs). Both oxyanions are commonly associated with anthropogenic contamination from fertilizers, pesticides, explosives, and disinfection byproducts. However, the soils of the Atacama Desert are the most extensive natural reservoirs of perchlorate in the world, compromising drinking water sources in northern Chile. Field campaigns were carried (2014-2018) to assess the presence of these ECs in the water supply networks of twelve Chilean cities. Additionally, the occurrence of perchlorate, chlorate and other anions typically observed in drinking water matrices of the Atacama Desert (i.e., nitrate, chloride, sulfate) was evaluated using a Spearman correlation analysis to determine predictors for perchlorate and chlorate. High concentrations of perchlorate (up to 114.48 μg L-1) and chlorate (up to 9650 μg L-1) were found in three northern cities. Spatial heterogeneities were observed in the physicochemical properties and anion concentrations of the water supply network. Spearman correlation analysis indicated that nitrate, chloride, and sulfate were not useful predictors for the presence of perchlorate and chlorate in drinking water in Chile. Hence, this study highlights the need to establish systematic monitoring, regulation, and treatment for these EC of drinking water sources in northern Chilean cities for public health protection.
Corresponding AuthorPablo Pasten,