Anson County Starts Chloramine Treatment, Health Concerns Reported
The most common and affordable drinking water disinfection strategy for public water supplies that violate the federal standard for “trihalomethanes” is to switch from chlorine to chloramine treatment. Water customers are warned that the chloramine-treated water could be dangerous for fish tanks without filtration and for medically delicate conditions. Though chloramine has been used by some suppliers for decades, there’s been little study of human health effects. As reported in Deb Arnason’s commentary in our summer issue, an increasing number of customers on chloramine-treated water systems report severe rashes, respiratory distress and other symptoms, getting relief only by changing water sources. Arnason has switched to well water, but remains concerned for her community. Recently she presented her concerns to the Anson County Commissioners, but was told she was the only one with complaints, so she’s preparing a petition to County and federal officials. EPA scientist Dr. Susan Richardson says there appears to be a significant subpopulation that is sensitive to chloramine and its byproducts, but that there’s not enough research to determine the extent and cause of reported problems. If your water supplier is disinfecting water with chloramine, visit the website of Concerned Citizens Against Chloramine. Report any problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.