Chloramine has been replacing chlorine in some municipal water treatment systems due to concerns about chlorine’s health effects. The problem is, chloramine seems to have harmful health effects that are similar to chlorine.
What are chloramines?
Water utilities use a form of chloramine that is composed of one part chlorine, to one part ammonia. That form of chloramine is referred to as monochloramine. The problem is, monochloramine changes form readily into other, more harmful forms of chloramine
There are three different forms of chloramine: monochloramine (NH2Cl), dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NCl3). They convert easily into each other; thus, they are more appropriately called chloramines.
The three types of chloramine constantly shift from one form to another. The type that will be present at any given time is dependent on pH, temperature, turbulence, and the chlorine to ammonia ratio. Time is also a factor because after a day or so, the monochloramine put in your water by your local water treatment plant will slowly degrade to form dichloramine and some trichloramine. Chloramines are respiratory irritants; trichloramine is the most toxic of the three:
Order of toxicity:
- monochloramine = less toxic
- trichloramine = most toxic
Water utilities in denial
In contrast to what water utilities claim, it is impossible to have only monochloramine. It is not unusual in water systems for harmful di and trichloramines to occur. Disinfection byproducts are chemicals formed when a disinfectant combines with organic matter or other chemicals present in water. Trihalomethanes – suspected carcinogens – are also formed with chloramine disinfection.
- Chloramine does not dissipate easily compared to chlorine.
- Chloramine stays in the water distribution system longer than chlorine.
- Chloramine is difficult to remove.
- Chloramine cannot be removed by boiling, distilling, or by standing uncovered.
- Some disinfection byproducts of chloramine are even more toxic than those of chlorine.
- Chloramine vapors and its disinfection byproducts can accumulate in indoor air and concentrate in an enclosed area such as a shower stall.
How to protect yourself against chloramines
Your safest bet is to stop chloramine from entering your home with a whole home filtration system. Keep in mind that water softeners, and many popular home water filters do not protect you against chloramine.
Life Ionizers Dolphin Whole Home filtration system is effective against chloramine, chlorine and many other toxins found commonly in tap water. The Dolphin system uses filtration technology developed for NASA – Charged Modified Composite Blend. Traditional filters simply try to block chloramines, the CMCB technology in the Dolphin system uses an electrostatic charge to attract and bind to pollutants like chloramine. Once pollutants are bound up in the filter, they can’t get out.
Want more information? Contact our water quality experts today at (888) 888-6889