Chloramine is a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, which is added to the water of many cities as a substitute for free chlorine. It is often referred to in the plural, as chloramines, because it can take on a number of forms according to the pH and mineral content of the water.
Chloramine is removed from water with essentially the same strategies that are used to remove chlorine. This means that carbon filtration is very effective, but the problem is that it takes more carbon and more contact time to do the job. That presents a challenge for shower and bath filters because there is not enough carbon or contact time, plus hot water causes carbon to expand, causing the sloughing off of chemicals and compounds which had been adsorbed.
A better solution is a Vitamin C shower filter. Vitamin-C de-chlorination has a lengthy history in the treatment of water and has been used by:
Current research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin-C) reacts rapidly with chlorine molecules. This reaction occurs instantly while the water passes through your shower filter. This reaction also occurs when the Vitamin-C molecules contact chlorine molecules in your bath water.
And according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's website, Questions and Answers Regarding Chloramine document, Removal from Water section, published by Water Quality and last updated on 4/12/07:
Q: Can Vitamin C be used to remove chlorine and chloramine for bathing purposes?
A: Exposures via respiration do not occur from use of chloraminated drinking water. Based on personal preference, some individuals may choose to reduce exposure to chlorine or chloramine. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has recently been included in AWWA (American Water Works Association)Standard (AWWA, 2005b) as one of the methods for dechlorination of disinfected water mains. SFPUC and other utilities have used Vitamin C for dechlorination prior to environmental discharges of chlorinated and chloraminated water. Since ascorbic acid is weakly acidic, the pH of water may decrease slightly (Tikkaned et at., 2001). Ascorbic acid has been used for a long time as one of the dechlorinating agents for preservation of chlorinated or chloraminated water samples for laboratory analysis.
"The removal of chloramine is not necessary from a public health perspective; however, some customers may chose to remove either chlorine or chloramine for bathing purposes. There are no NSF International certified point of use devices utilizing Vitamin C, however SFPUC determined that 1000 mg of Vitamin C . . . remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without significantly depressing pH. Shower attachments containing Vitamin C can be purchased on the Internet, as well as effervescent Vitamin C bath tablets."
Additional information follows:
JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 2 (3): 253-256 2000
Urbansky ET, Freeman DM, Rubio FJ
United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Water Supply and Water Resources Division, 26 W Martin Luther King Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45268 USA
In studies on the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs), it is necessary to scavenge residual active (oxidizing) chlorine in order to rx the chlorination byproducts (such as haloethanoates) at a point in time. Such research projects often have distinct needs from requirements for regulatory compliance monitoring. Thus, methods designed for compliance monitoring are not always directly applicable, but must be adapted. This research describes an adaptation of EPA Method 552 in which ascorbic acid treatment is shown to be a satisfactory means for reducing residual oxidizing chlorine, i.e., HOCl, ClO-, and Cl-2, prior to determining concentrations of halocarboxylates. Ascorbic acid rapidly reduces oxidizing chlorine compounds, and it has the advantage of producing inorganic halides and dehydroascorbic acid as opposed to halogenated organic molecules as byproducts. In deionized water and a sample of chlorinated tap water, systematic biases relative to strict adherence to Method 552 were precise and could be corrected for using similarly treated standards and analyte-fortified (spiked) samples. This was demonstrated for the quantitation of chloroethanoate, bromoethanoate, 2,2-dichloropropanoate (dalapon), trichloroethanoate, bromochloroethanoate, and bromodichloroethanoate when extracted, as the acids, into tert-butyl methyl ether (MTBE) and esterified with diazomethane prior to gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Recoveries for chloroethanoate, bromoethanoate, dalapon, dichloroethanoate, trichloroethanoate, bromochloroethanoate, bromodichloroethanoate, dibromoethanoate, and 2-bromopropanoate at concentrations near the lower limit of detection were acceptable. Ascorbic acid reduction appears to be the best option presently available when there is a need to quench residual oxidants fast in a DBP formation study without generating other halospecies but must be implemented cautiously to ensure no untoward interactions in the matrix.
JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 2 (2): 161-163 2000
Urbansky ET, Schenck KM
United States Environmental Protection Agency(US EPA), Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Water Supply and Water Resources Division, 26 W Martin Luther King Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45268 USA
Many potable water disinfection byproducts (DBPs) that result from the reaction of natural organic matter (NOM) with oxidizing chlorine are known or suspected to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. The Ames assay is routinely used to assess an overall level of mutagenicity for all compounds in samples from potable water supplies or laboratory studies of DBP formation. Reduction of oxidizing disinfectants is required since these compounds can kill the bacteria or react with the agar, producing chlorinated byproducts. When mutagens are collected by passing potable water through adsorbing resins, active chlorine compounds react with the resin, producing undesirable mutagenic artifacts. The bioanalytical and chemoanalytical needs of drinking water DBP studies required a suitable reductant. Many of the candidate compounds failed to meet those needs, including 2,4-hexadienoic (sorbic) acid, 2,4-pentanedione (acetylacetone), 2-butenoic (crotonic) acid, 2-butenedioic (maleic and fumaric) acids and buten-2-ol (crotyl alcohol). Candidates were rejected if they (1) reacted too slowly with active chlorine, (2) formed mutagenic byproducts, or (3) interfered in the quantitation of known chlorination DBPs. L-Ascorbic acid reacts rapidly and stoichiometrically with active chlorine and has limited interactions with halogenated DBPs. In this work, we found no interference from L-ascorbic acid or its oxidation product (dehydroascorbic acid) in mutagenicity assays of chlorinated NOM using Salmonella typhimurium TA100, with or without metabolic activation (S9). This was demonstrated for both aqueous solutions of chlorinated NOM and concentrates derived from the involatile, ether-extractable chlorinated byproducts of those solutions.
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Vitamin C Shower Filter contains 210 grams of pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C, capable of neutralizing chlorine in up to 15,000 gallons of water, depending on the amount of chlorine or chloramines in your water. The higher the chlorine or chloramine levels the shorter the life of the filter.. more info
Neutralizes Chlorine and Chloramines in Bath, Hot Tub and
If you prefer taking a bath, but don't want chlorine or chloramines in your bath water, use Vitabath Vitamin C tablets to remove the chlorine and chloramines from your bath water. VitaBath tablets can be used in bath tubs or spas. One tablet treats up to 100 gallons. If you have a smaller tub, you can break the tablet in half, unless you have a lot of chlorine or chloramines in the water (more than 1 ppm). more info
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