Chloroacetones (1,1-Dichloroacetone and 1,3-Dichloroacetone) are organic chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs, perfumes, insecticides and other chemicals. They're also a potent tear inducers, and have been proposed for use in chemical warfare.
Dichloroacetones can form as byproducts of water disinfection involving chlorine, when large organic molecules are present. A study published by the American Water Association reports that 1,1-dichloracetone was detected in several water treatment plants in the United States.
Studies of chloroacetones are limited, but 1,1-dichloroacetone has been shown to have toxic effects on the liver, and some chloroacetones were shown to be mutagenic in bacterial studies.
There is no recommended water treatment for chloroacetones. It is likely that their formation may be prevented during water disinfection by the removal of organic precursors.
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