Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 30, pp 31537–31545 | Cite as

Occurrence and formation of halobenzoquinones in indoor and outdoor swimming pool waters of Nanning City, Southwest China

  • Huan Wu
  • Kunling Long
  • Du Lu
  • Yan Mo
  • Qiyuan Yang
  • Xiao WeiEmail author
Research Article


Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in swimming pool have elicited increasing worldwide concern due to their potential health risks. However, only trihalomethanes (THMs) are regulated by several local governing bodies. Studies indicated that specific unregulated DBP classes would drive disinfected water toxicity in addition to THMs. Halobenzoquinones (HBQs), a type of emerging unregulated DBPs, have been shown to be possible bladder cancer carcinogens. This study aimed to determine the distribution and formation of HBQs in indoor and outdoor swimming pool waters of Nanning City, Southwest China. Seven HBQs in water from seven public indoor and outdoor swimming pools were examined using an effective ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method. Results suggest the presence of 2,6-dichloro-1,4-benzoquinone in all the swimming pool waters in the range of 4.56–45.30 ng/L. Furthermore, 2,6-dibromo-1,4-benzoquinone and 3,4,5,6-tetrachloro-1,2-benzoquinone (TetraC-1,2-BQ) were detected in two pools at concentrations of < 0.38–14.20 and < 0.54–2.60 ng/L, respectively. The swimming pool water featured higher HBQs than input tap water, and TetraC-1,2-BQ was only detected in pool water. Higher HBQ levels were observed in the indoor pools than in the outdoor pools. These findings demonstrate that low NH3–N, high chloride, humic acid, chemical oxygen demand, and UV254 in the indoor pools increased the HBQ formation. This study is the first to reveal the occurrence and formation of HBQs in water from Chinese indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The findings should be useful in the management of these governing factors and HBQ controls in swimming pools.


Swimming pool Disinfection byproducts Halobenzoquinones Occurrence Formation 



The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their comments and suggestions.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81560524), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2014T70839), the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (No. 2018GXNSFAA050076), and the Guangxi Medical University Training Program for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 2017).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6341_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public HealthGuangxi Medical UniversityNanningChina

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