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Determination of chlorinated by-products of parabens in swimming pool water

We describe the determination of trace amounts of chlorinated parabens, i.e. disinfection by-products, in swimming pool water, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring (GC-MS-SIM). A dichlorinated by-product of isopropylparaben was detected at levels of up to 25 ng L−1. Further, a dichlorinated by-product of methylparaben and a monochlorinated by-product of benzylparaben were present in concentrations lower than the limit of quantification. Benzylparaben, the parent compound, was also detected at concentrations of up to 28 ng L−1. Thus, in this study, chlorinated parabens were detected and quantified for the first time as disinfection by-products in swimming pool water. The results of this study have raised concerns regarding the chlorinated by-products of active ingredients used in personal care products.