Water quality safety is always a hot topic. Recently there has been a great increase in the use of polyethylene (PE) pipes in drinking water distribution systems in China. Some organics can leach from PE pipes into drinking water, which is undoubtedly harmful for consumers. In this study, potential organics leaching from two Chinese brands of PE pipe were investigated in order to determine the potential risk to both consumers and water quality. Their released amounts are characterized by UV254 instead of total organic carbon (TOC). Organics are identified by means of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Influencing factors such as types of water, time, pH, residual chlorine are discussed. The cytotoxicity of leaching organics is first put forward in this study, and rat C6 glioma cell is used to assess the effect of leaching organics; the increasing dosage of soaking solution negatively affects morphology and relative viability of rat C6 glioma cell. The results show that residual chlorine, time and temperature have a positive effect on organics release, while pH plays an opposite role.

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