Drinking water quality, THM and cancers in areas of Transilvanya, Romania

AQUATHM - Complex program for assuring water quality and consumers` security related to THM exposure from drinking water.

For the purpose of reducing the negative impact generated by trihalomethanes (THM) generation in drinking water, the project addresses integrated issues of water quality and safety for consumers, offering a complex program to ensure water quality, with impact on the quality of life. Research is developed in central Transylvania, in Cluj, Mures and Salaj counties. Trihalomethanes (THM) are present in drinking water as byproducts resulted from the water treatment process by chlorine disinfection. Due to the serious known effects on the human organism, including carcinogenic ones, in the EU countries, THM are part of the list of priority hazardous substances in water. Within the research, the variability of THM concentration is also monitored during the water treatment process and in the consumption area (distribution network) in urban areas in central Transylvania, in order to elaborate specific databases (novelty). Throughout the project, results are disseminated through specific support activities, training and seminars organized by EHC-CO with leading foreign guests with a view to preparing partnerships for the European programs.

Starting / Ending Date

2008 – 2010

Project Coordinator


Funder: National Programs Management Center
Grant Number: 32-152 / 01.10.2008
Total Amount: 1.770.000 RON

Staff from Department of Public Health

Project Partners

  • UBB Babes Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca – Faculty of Environmental Sciences
  • POLYTECHNIC University Bucharest – Research and Eco-metallurgic Expertise Center – CCEEM
  • Regional Centre for Environmental Risk and Health Assessment, Cluj-Napoca – CRERMS
  • INCDO-INOE2000, Research Institute for Analytical Instrumentation, Cluj-Napoca branch – ICIA
  • National Research and Development Institute for Nonferrous and Rare Metals – IMNR

Project Outputs

  • Conceptual model of THM generation mechanism during the water treatment process;
  • Complex program for investigating priority hazardous substances – carcinogens in Cluj, Salaj and Mures counties;
  • Methodologies for investigating and monitoring water quality in areas with potential for generating priority hazardous substances (THM);
  • An assessment study of water contamination with THM;
  • Databases;
  • Working protocols for the collection, storage, transport and analysis of water samples, quality control and quality assessment;
  • Experimental model for monitoring precursors (organic substances, chlorine) and investigated carcinogenic compounds – THM, in drinking water;
  • A predictive model for the impact of carcinogenic compounds – THM via drinking water upon the human receptors;
  • Digital map of the spatial and temporal distribution of THM and exposure assessment at the receptor level in the area in the study;
  • Functional model;
  • Functional model of the implementation strategy;
  • Measurable indicators for functional assessment of the developed social-economic mechanism;
  • Modern educational program in the form of social marketing;
  • A publishable booklet with the project results synthesis;
  • Scientific articles to increase the visibility of Romanian research;
  • Books;
  • Website.