We compared extracts and toxicities of organic compounds (OCs) in drinking water concentrated by composite XAD-2/8 resin (mixed with an equal volume of XAD-2 and XAD-8 resins) with those extracted by single XAD-2 (non-polar) and XAD-8 (polar) resins. Drinking water was processed from raw water of the Han River and the Yangtze River in Wuhan section, China. The extraction efficiency of all resins was controlled at 30%. The types of extracted OCs were detected by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity were assessed by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) and comet assays, respectively, in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Our results showed that XAD-2/8 extracted a larger variety of OCs, compared with XAD-8 and XAD-2. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of extracted OCs were in the order of XAD-8> XAD-2/8> XAD-2 at almost all tested concentrations after 24 h treatment (P < 0.05). Our findings suggest that single XAD resin selectively extracts either polar or non-polar OCs, which would lead to over- or under-estimation of the toxicity of drinking water. Nevertheless, composite resin extracts both polar and non-polar OCs, and could be utilized as a useful extraction technique to evaluate the level and toxicity of OCs in drinking water.

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