The following symptoms have been reported in Vermont and are common in other areas of the country using chloraminated water.
• sinus and nasal congestion, sneezing
• coughing and choking, wheezing
• dry throat, swollen throat, difficulty swallowing
• asthma-like symptoms, shortness of breath
• dry mouth, bad breath, furry-coating on tongue
• rashes and red burning skin, intense itching
• dry, chapping, flaking, cracking skin, bleeding
• dry, itchy scalp, dandruff
• dry, stinging, or burning eyes
• tearing, red eyes
• bleary eyes
• blurry vision
• diarrhea, flatulence
• stomach ache
• irritable bowel-type symptoms
If you live in an area that is using chloramine and think you may be experiencing health effects from chloramine,
please report your symptoms to VCE and
Contact the Vermont Dept. of Health 800-640-4374
• CWD Manager Jim Fay 864-7454
• ANR Secretary Jonathan Wood 241-3600
• Governor Jim Douglas 828-3333
Articles about Chloramine
Scientific Studies about Chloramine
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Chloramine Health Information from the U.S. E.P.A.
What are the health effects of chloramine exposure?
Drinking water chloramine levels that meet the EPA standard are associated with minimal to no risk and should be considered safe. Some people who use water containing chloramine well in excess of the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) could experience irritating effects to their eyes and nose. Some people who drink water containing chloramine well in excess of the MRDL could experience stomach discomfort or anemia.
Did EPA examine inhalation and dermal studies in developing the drinking water health goal for chloramine?
Yes. In 1994, EPA examined inhalation and dermal studies on chloramine when determining the health goal (the Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal or MRDLG), but there was not much information available. These studies covered both human clinical cases and animal studies and are summarized in the criteria document for chloramine. EPA is in the process of conducting a new literature search, and if additional information is found, the Agency would expect to update the criteria document.
EPA based its health goal on the lowest effect dose seen (or the lowest intake of chloramine to show any adverse effects) among all studies examined and made further adjustments from the low dose to allow for an adequate margin of safety. In the case of chloramine, this was a drinking water study in rats. See the Stage 1 Rule for further information.
I am experiencing respiratory, skin, or digestive problems. Could it be chloramine in the water?
The available studies do not link these conditions to chloramine or chlorine at the level the public is exposed to in drinking water. EPA has set what it believes is a safe limit to exposure to chloramine in the drinking water, and this limit is closely monitored by your water system. There are many different causes of irritations, and the source is difficult to identify and varies with each person. If concerned, consult your physician.
Are there home devices that can be used to remove chloramine?
Boiling the water or letting it sit out at in an open container at room temperature will not effectively get rid of the residual chloramine. Point of entry and point of use (POE/POU) devices can be used to eliminate the chloramine in household water. POE/POU devices that remove chloramine are filtration systems with granular activated carbon or charcoal.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) independently tests and certifies water treatment systems for chloramine removal. In order for a product to earn "certification" for reduction of chloramine, it must be able to reduce chloramine from 3 mg/L (ppm) to 0.5 mg/L (ppm).
• Information on NSF Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units can be obtained either:
on NSF's Web site, or
by phone 1-877-867-3435.