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trihalomethane

/ (traɪˌheɪləʊˈmiːθeɪn) /
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noun
a type of chemical compound in which three of the hydrogen atoms in a methane molecule have been replaced by halogen atoms, esp by chlorine in drinking water. Trihalomethanes are thought to be carcinogenic
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Scientific definitions for trihalomethane

trihalomethane
[ trī′hăl-ə-mĕthān′ ]

Any of various organic compounds containing three halogen atoms substituted for three of the hydrogen atoms in a methane molecule. It can occur in chlorinated water as a result of reaction between organic materials in the water and chlorine added as a disinfectant. Chloroform is a trihalomethane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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