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Cooking with Chloraminated Tap Water Creates Toxic Molecules

Filtered water is not just for drinking. Turns out that cooking with chloraminated tap water can create a new class of toxic molecules. Boiled chloramine interacts with table salt and food ingredients to create iodinated disinfection byproducts (I-DBPs). Researchers tested these I-DBPs and found that some of the molecules are 50-200 time more toxic than other known toxic molecules.

Chloramine, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, has been used to disinfect tap water since 1929 and its use has been spreading across the country.  It is used in San Francisco and Houston among other major metropolitan cities.  Check with your city water provider to see if they use chloramine or chlorine in the water.

Chloramine has been criticized as being less effective than chlorine at disinfecting water. Critics also point out that monochloramine, the form used in water because it is perceived to be safer, easily breaks down to dichloramine and trichloramine, known respiratory irritants.  Cities have chosen to adopt it because it’s more stable in water than chlorine, but that’s turning out to be more of a curse than a blessing in light of this new research.

Carbon filtering water helps remove chloramine, but letting it sit out in an open container does not However, this trick does work for chlorine. To protect you in the shower, make your showers as cold and short as possible. Findaspring.com also lists providers of local spring water at minimal costs.