Chloramines are created by combining Chlorine with ammonia. The reason for using Chloramine instead of Chlorine is to get a longer-lasting disinfecting effect on the drinking water. As per EPA Chloramines disinfection of drinking water by Water Utility companies is prevalent for almost 90 years.
Let’s Discuss Chloramines
By Jenny Holiday
There are a number of chemicals that water companies put into water as part of the disinfection process. Chloramine is one of the newer types of chemicals put into water to disinfect water supplies instead of Chlorine, it is created by combining traditional Chlorine and Ammonia. It is used by water companies here in the UK, in the United States and many other nations. Like Chlorine, Chloramines react with organic material in water supplies and cause THMs (Trihalomethanes). THMs have been linked with causing certain cancers and are best eliminated from home water supplies altogether. In this article we will discuss what Chloramine is and also the method to best remove it from our water supplies at point of use.
Chloramine is actually a group of three different chemicals; Monochloramine (NH2CL), Dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NCl3). These chemicals are closely related and will easily shift into each form depending upon a variety of factors such as water pH, temperature, turbulence and even ratio of Chlorine to ammonia.
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Like Chlorine, Chloramines are also respiratory irritants and as stated above when Chloramines react to organic substances in water supplies this can cause THMs, which have been linked to cancer. Chloramine has not been as extensively researched and studied as Chlorine has been, according to the World Health Organisation, “monochloramine is about 2,000 and 100,000 times less effective than free chlorine for the inactivation of E. Coli and rotaviruses, respectively.” As Chloramine is a respiratory irritant, fumes can cause respiratory issues in enclosed areas such as shower cubicles. Vital portions of the lung called mucosa can be damaged by exposure to Chloramines and it can also cause adverse skin reactions such as; rashing, dry skin, itching, flaking, etc. For people with sensitive skin and skin conditions such as Eczema it can aggravate these conditions. Ammonia is a vital part of any Chloramine and it is known to effect skin adversely by breaking down cell structure proteins, extracting water from cells and can begin an inflammatory response which can further damage surrounding tissue.
Now that we are aware of the dangers of Chloramines, how does one actually protect oneself from Chloramines? Like any other water contaminant, Chloramines must be filtered out of the water we use. Whether that be within our bathrooms or our kitchens, we need specific types of filter mediums to combat the dangers posed by Chloramines. The best and most economical filter medium to combat Chloramines is Granulated Active Carbon (or GAC for short). This filter medium has been around for many decades and is found in most home water filters and also a variety of shower and bath filters. The porous nature of the GAC means that when water laced with Chloramines passes through it, the Chloramines will get trapped within the carbon. Thereby effectively removing the Chloramine before it reaches us.
In our kitchens we should install a tap filter or filter jug. In our bathrooms we should install shower filters and basin tap filters. This will give us the best chance of not being effected by the adverse health risks of Chloramines.
When looking for the perfect shower filter that can remove chloramine and chlorine to protect hair and skin. In the UK I would recommend shower filters from PureShowers.co.uk for shower filters which are of great quality and provide a high level of filtration at an economical price.
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