>Denise Johnson-Kula
>August 14
>Is Our Tap Water Toxic?
> Denise Johnson-Kula, along with other individuals who experienced adverse
>reactions from 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.
> CCAC (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
>chloramine and summarize the work of CCAC, including its support for Ira Ruskin's
>chloramine bill, AB559, (co authored by Senator Migden) that will have the skin,
>respiratory, and 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.

Denise 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 began to travel out of town to shower where there was well water disinfected with chlorine and she found immediate relief from her symptoms.

Denise 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.

Denise's 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.

When 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.

Denise 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.

Denise has also found evidence that chloramine leaches lead out of  pipes, brass faucets and the solder connecting them when it comes 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 supplies.

CCAC 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.

For more information on chloramine and CCAC, please see their website, www.chloramine.net

Denise 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 (650) 328-0424.