>Is Our Tap Water Toxic?
> Denise Johnson-Kula,
along with other individuals who experienced adverse
chloramine, founded Citizens Concerned About Chloramine
>(CCAC) in June 2004,
several months after the San Francisco Public Utilities
>Commission added a new
disinfectant, chloramine, a combination of chlorine
>and ammonia, into the
Hetch Hetchy water supply.
(www.chloramine.org) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to
>raise the public's
level of awareness about chloramine and its effects on health,
>the environment and
plumbing, when used as a disinfectant in the water.
> Denise, CACC
President and Spokesperson, will discuss the adverse effects of
summarize the work of CCAC, including its support for Ira Ruskin's
AB559, (co authored by Senator Migden) that will have the skin,
digestive studies done that were never conducted. She will also
>discuss CACC's work
with concerned community members in organizations in
>other regions of the
country (and in other countries) that use chloramine to
>disinfect the water.
began by telling us of the frightening experience she had when
chloramine first went into the water supply. When she first showered in
chloraminated water, she experienced such severe asthma-like symptoms
that they were life threatening. She saw her doctor and they went
through a lengthy process of eliminating any possible cause. Nothing
helped. The symptoms got worse. Over a month later, she and her doctor
learned of the change in disinfectants from chlorine to chloramine. In
order to tell if the new disinfectant was the culprit, Denise
travel out of town to shower where there was well water disinfected
with chlorine and she found immediate relief from her symptoms.
also had rashes and digestive irritations from the
chloraminated water which all disappeared when she used bottled spring
water or well water disinfected with chlorine.
doctor diagnosed her case as chloramine mediated
respiratory toxicity. This is a chemical irritation of the skin and
mucous membranes and is not an allergy.
her case was publicized in the newspapers, hundreds of people
contacted her reporting that they were also experiencing the same skin,
respiratory and digestive irritations. Many of them decided to avoid
the chloraminated tap water, substituting non chloraminated sources
such as bottled spring water and they also found their symptoms
completely cleared up.
and some of the other people who had been affected by
chloramine formed Citizens Concerned About chloramine (CCAC). Denise
began to do research into the health effects of chloramine and found
that no studies on the skin, respiratory or digestive (including food
exposure) effects of chloramine have ever been done. There was evidence
that at higher dosage levels, chloramine can cause skin irritations,
digestive inflammation and severe respiratory distress. Even fatal
reactions from pulmonary edema had been reported.
has also found evidence that chloramine leaches lead out
of pipes, brass faucets and the solder connecting them when
into contact with such. Other research has proven that chlorine is a
far better disinfectant than chloramine. Because of these factors, the
states of CT, DE, ID, MT, NV, NJ, RI, TN, UT, and WV have chosen not
to switch to chloramine from chlorine for their public water
is now working with our legislators to get the skin,
respiratory, and digestive studies on chloramine done. CCAC is also
working with our Federal Legislators like Anna Eshoo to get an EPA
waiver to return to the use of the use of chlorine as our disinfectant
until the health studies on chloramine are completed.
is looking for opportunities to talk to groups about chloramine,
so if you know of a group that would be interested, please call her at