By Susan Pickford
August 09, 2010
There is much more to be concerned about with chloramine than
just the fish and dialysis patients. While those are certainly
urgent concerns the acute and long term health ramifications
for the general population are much more dire. I can tell you
that the information below is the concensus of the scientific
community, the subject of over 50 peer reviewed studies by the
top water chemists in the country and not even wholely disputed
by the EPA.
Acute health concerns - Hundreds of people across the country
are reporting respiratory, dermal and digestive ailments when
drinking or showering in chloraminated water. Chloraminated
water used to make baby formula can cause Blue Baby Syndrome.
(That is right in the Water Quality Reports.) monochloramine
speciates into di and tri chloramine. Tri chloramine is a known
respiratory irritant known to cause 'swimmers asthma' in lifeguards
and routine swimmers. The same effect is being seen when chloraminated
water is vaporized in showers. I have personal stories from
those who are suffering and other citizen groups have accumulated
photos of the skin rashes.
Ineffective biocide - the World Health Organization has determined
chloramine to be the least effective of the available disinfectants
in killing e-coli, rotoviruses and polio 1. Germany has banned
its use in their country. France will not use it and in fact
most of Europe does not use it for this reason. In fact, the
EPA banned chloramine in 1978 for one year because it was believed
to be an ineffective biocide. Thirty years of research has concluded
that it is indeed ineffective, yet the EPA continues to allow
it. You may remember the recent articles about beef that was
treated with ammonia supposedly to kill bacteria. That beef
ended up to be ecoli tainted.
Long term health concerns - While chloramine does indeed reduce
the THMs and HAAs of chlorine, it creates its own new set of
byproducts that are 100 to 10000 times MORE TOXIC than THMs and
HAAs. These byproducts include NDMA, Hydrazine, DXAA and Iodo
acids. THey are genotoxic (damage DNA), cytotoxic (damage cells)
and carcinogenic. In fact the EPA has classified hydrazine and
NDMA as 'probable human carcinogens' yet still allow the use
of chloramine in drinking water.
Fish kills - we have documented massive fish kills across the
US and in Canada as a result of main breaks in chloraminated
areas. One killed 9 miles of creek down to the earthworm. In
Canada, it killed thoussands of species of salmonids and invertibrates.
In california, even when people use rain water to fill their
backyard ponds, just using the sprinkler on their lawn killed
the frogs in their ponds.
Infrastructure - Chloramine is more corrosive than chlorine.
It leaches lead from the pipes, literally 'eats' rubber and
elastomer fittings, pits pipes allowing bacteria into the distribution
system and presents a national security issue as it is less reactive
Filters - Chloramine can only be reduced not eliminated by certified
filters that are very expensive. NSF says that no filters currently
available will take out the highly toxic byproducts. In addition,
a filter is only as good as the four walls of your house. If
you go to work, school, a restaurant, vacation, family, friends,
stores etc you are not protected by your filter.
This information is backed by significant science. If you look
at the EPA website you will notice that they carefully limit
their responses to 'monochloramine' . They say 'monochloramine'
does not cause cancer. 'monochloramine' does not cause respiratory
problems., etc. they do not address the 'unintended consequences'
of monochloramine such as tri chloramine and the highly toxic
byproducts. This stuff is dangerous. It is not sufficiently
studied and it is not yet regulated though the scientific community
is unanimously convinced that it will be when the EPA gets to
it in 5 or 10 years.
Please let your readers know the whole truth about chloramine.
They have a right to know and to not be lulled into compliance
by EPA and the water company's half truths. If you would like
to see any of the documentation backing these statements or if
you would like to talk to me - my contact information is below.
Camp Hill, PA
About: "I am the co-director
and founder of The Chloramine Information Center in Pennsylvania.
We are a grass-roots organization of over 2600 individuals with
support from local governments. We have been researching and
fighting against the use of chloramine for three years. We have
filed law suits at the Pa. Dept of Environ. Protection, the PA
PUC and in County court. We are engaging state and federal representatives.
We have a library of peer reviewed studies and have spoke to
the top scientists in the US in drinking water treatment."
Received August 07, 2010 -
Published August 09, 2010
in City Water By Kristine Bellanich
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