Numerous inorganic and organic micropollutants can undergo reactions with chlorine. However, for certain compounds, the expected chlorine reactivity is low and only small modifications in the parent compound's structure are expected under typical water treatment conditions. To better understand/predict chlorine reactions with micropollutants, the kinetic and mechanistic information on chlorine reactivity available in literature was critically reviewed. For most micropollutants, HOCl is the major reactive chlorine species during chlorination processes. In the case of inorganic compounds, a fast reaction of ammonia, halides (Br- and I-), SO32-, CN-, NO-, As(III) and Fe(II) with HOCl is reported (10(3)-10(9) M-1 s(-1)) whereas low chlorine reaction rates with Mn(II) were shown in homogeneous systems. Chlorine reactivity usually results from an initial electrophilic attack of HOCl on inorganic compounds. In the case of organic compounds, second-order rate constants for chlorination vary over 10 orders of magnitude (i.e. <0.1-10(9) M-1 s(-1)). oxidation, addition and electrophilic substitution reactions with organic compounds are possible pathways. However, from a kinetic point of view, usually only electrophilic attack is significant. Chlorine reactivity limited to particular sites (mainly amines, reduced sulfur moieties or activated aromatic systems) is commonly observed during chlorination processes and small modifications in the parent compound's structure are expected for the primary attack. Linear structure-activity relationships can be used to make predictions/estimates of the reactivity of functional groups based on structural analogy. Furthermore, comparison of chlorine to ozone reactivity towards aromatic compounds (electrophilic attack) shows a good correlation, with chlorine rate constants being about four orders of magnitude smaller than those for ozone. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.