Uncontent with the existing methods by which industrialized societies poison themselves, local governments across the United States have apparently come up with a new one: adding chloramine to our water. The case against doing so, seems to be pretty well documented.
Here’s an article from Cville Weekly.
Lorrie Delahanty provides some information and what can be done about it:
In March of 2014, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority plans to switch chlorine to CHLORAMINE as a disinfectant in our water supply. This will have negative health and environmental consequences. Below are a few of the problems encountered in water systems with chloramine.
1) Chloramine is very difficult (much more so than the chlorine that is currently used) to get out of the water. Regular water filters (like the Pur faucet attachments and Britta pitchers) will not remove it. Neither will more complex water distillation or reverse osmosis systems. The only reasonable way to get rid of it is passing the water over an activated charcoal bed system (it takes a long time to effectively expose all of the chloramine-contaminated water over a large charcoal bed). This is an expensive burden to place on the people of Charlottesville.
2) In older homes, the chloramine leaches much more lead and copper out of pipes and soldering, and exposes the consumer to much higher lead levels. If there is fluoride in the water also, the two chemicals act together synergistically to leach more lead than either chemical alone. The blood lead levels in children living in Washington DC increased dramatically after the city switched to chloramine as a water disinfectant.
3) A study demonstrates a connection between the transformation of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and the formation of nitrosamines during chloramine disinfection. Nitrosamines are very potent carcinogens. This both expands the pool of potential nitrosamine precursors, and provides a possible link between the presence of trace levels of certain PPCPs in drinking water sources and potential adverse health effects. See citation: Water Res. 2011 Jan;45(2):944-52. Epub 2010 Oct 13.
4) Water containing tiny concentrations of chloramine is deadly to aquatic life (fish, frogs, and invertebrates). The same is true of chlorine. However, there is a huge difference. Chlorine dissipates very quickly and chloramine takes weeks to dissipate. So if a water main breaks and leaks chloraminated water into natural waterways, chloramine keeps killing aquatic life, whereas chlorine, which can also kill fish and invertebrates, dissipates very quickly so the devastation is quite small in comparison. Even a minor spill into a local waterway can result in a serious fish kill. Pimmit Run goes through McLean, Va. According to an article in the 4/2/08 edition of the Fairfax County Times, a water main broke, leaking “hundreds” of gallons of chloraminated water into Pimmit Run, and killing “at least 90 percent of the fish”, according to Ed Pickens of Fairfax Trails and Streams. This happened over several miles of the stream, the article stated.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Speak out against chloramine at the Charlottesville City Council Meeting on Monday, May 21 at 7p.m.
2) Get facts on chloramine from this bullet point fact sheet:
3) Sign an online petition urging the RWSA not to put chloramine in our water suppy. Here’s the link to the petition: