LINKS TO ENVIRONMENTAL & HEALTH AGENCIES
Be sure to get the facts about chloramine from trusted, credible sources, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Web site also provides a great deal of useful information and research on chloramination and drinking water.
Use the links below to access these agencies’ sites for more data and answers to commonly asked questions about chloramine. You can also visit the National Sanitation Foundation’s Web site for information on in-home filters that remove chloramine and chlorine.
For information on chloramine basics, disinfection and disinfection byproducts, chloramine health information and other resources, view the EPA's Chloramines Q and A's. Below is what you'll find:
Basic information about chloramines and drinking water disinfection
- What are chloramines?
- How long has monochloramine been used as a drinking water disinfectant? How is monochloramine typically used? How many people/water utilities use monochloramine?
- Why is drinking water disinfected? What is the difference between primary and secondary disinfection? How is monochloramine used in a treatment plant?
- What disinfectants are available for drinking water?
- How effective is monochloramine vs. chlorine as a primary disinfectant?
- How effective is monochloramine vs. chlorine as a secondary disinfectant?
Water systems, disinfection byproducts, and the use of monochloramine
- Why are disinfection byproducts a public health concern?
- How does EPA regulate disinfection byproducts (DBPs)?
- How do the kinds and concentrations of disinfection byproducts formed by monochloramine compare to those formed by chlorine?
- Why are water utilities switching to monochloramine?
- Other than chlorine and monochloramine, what options could water utilities consider to control the levels of disinfection byproducts?
- Does EPA require water utilities to use monochloramine? Who approves the decision for a water utility to use monochloramine?
- What assistance does EPA provide to water utilities that are considering a switch from chlorine to monochloramine?
- How did EPA evaluate the safety of monochloramine for use as a drinking water disinfectant?
- Why does EPA believe that sufficient research has been conducted to approve the use of monochloramine as a drinking water disinfectant?
- Why does EPA believe monochloramine is safe and appropriate to use?
- What does EPA see as the advantages of using monochloramine?
- What does EPA see as the disadvantages of using monochloramine?
- What is EPA’s current focus regarding chloramines research? What other ongoing research is EPA aware of?
Common health questions related to monochloramine
- Is it safe to drink and cook with chloraminated water?
- Can I shower in or use a humidifier with chloraminated water?
- Can chloraminated or chlorinated water be used for dialysis or in an aquarium?
- Does monochloramine cause cancer?
- Does monochloramine cause skin problems?
- Do chloramines cause breathing problems?
- Does monochloramine cause digestive problems?
- Does monochloramine change water chemistry? Does monochloramine use contibute to the release of lead or other contaminants into drinking water?
- Can my doctor tell if my health problems are caused by monochloramine or any other disinfectant in drinking water?
- How can I remove monochloramine from my drinking water?
More information about health effects and drinking water disinfection from EPA is available in the following locations:
- EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Web site.
- IRIS includes updated information up to 2005 for the oral and carcinogenicity assessments for chloramine (assessment found under heading monochloramine).
- Drinking Water Health Criteria Document for Chloramines, (155pp, 2M)
- Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Office of Science and Technology, Office of Water, EPA, 1994. [Note: This document is currently being revised]
To reach EPA for more information:
- Write EPA’s Water Resource Center (RC-4100T), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. Please specify document(s) requested, or contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
PA Department of Environmental Protection
For information on chloramine basics, the advantages and disadvantages of chloramines, the use of chloramines in Pennsylvania, lead, chloramine health information and other resources. Visit PA Department of Environmental Protection Chloramine in Drinking Water page for answers to the questions below.
- What is chloramine?
- Why do public water suppliers add disinfectants to my drinking water supply?
- What are the advantages of using chloramine?
- What are the disadvantages of using chloramine?
- How many people use drinking water that has been treated with chloramine?
- Does chloramine cause a skin rash or irritate my lungs when I shower or bathe?
- Does chloramine increase lead levels in my drinking water?
- Will chloramine irritate my skin or lungs while swimming in a pool?
- How does chloramine affect dialysis patients?
- How does chloramine affect aquarium hobbyists and fishpond owners?
- Where can I learn more?
For more information
If you have additional questions about our planned transition to chloramination, please contact our customer service center at 1-800-565-7292.