Vita Research

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Chlorine and Chloramines

To better appreciate the power of using a vitamin as the de-chlorination agent in the Vitashower, the hazards in our water supplies must be better understood. These dangers are real and should not be overlooked or accepted by the general public.

Chlorine is universally used to chemically disinfect public water systems because of its toxic effect on harmful germs, bacteria and disease-causing organisms. The water we use from city water systems has been treated by chemicals such as chlorine and chloramines. By definition, "chlorine is a nonmetallic element occurring naturally as a poisonous, greenish-yellow gas with an irritating, pungent odor."

As defined above, chlorine is a toxic gas. With greater exposure to toxic chlorine contained in water supplies, the potential health dangers we face become more real.

During the bathing process, the chlorine evaporates out of the water and is inhaled. This toxic gas can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others. Some reports claim that as much chlorine enters the body by inhaling steamy chlorinated shower vapors or through the open pores of the skin as that which enters the body by drinking chlorinated water during the entire day. This increased exposure to the adverse effects of chlorine by household residents can be from 6 to 100 times more than medically recommended.

Chlorine also attacks the skin and skin oils, creating a dermal drying effect. Shower water can also cause or worsen skin irritations and rashes as well as drying the skin. Showering and bathing in chlorinated water will also result in the breakage of hair shafts. Because chlorine is absorbed into the body through the skin, additional physical problems can ensue. Chlorinated water can also irritate eyes, leaving them red, itchy and burning. Inhaling the toxic steam can aggravate the sinuses and lungs. Chloramines, although a more stable compound, contains chlorine and ammonia and is also used to control bacteria in water systems. Its harmful effects cause the same dangers as pure chlorine.

 

Research for Vitashower

Ascorbic acid reduction of residual active chlorine in potable water prior to halocarboxylate determination

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

Abstract:

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.

 


 


Ascorbic acid reduction of active chlorine prior to determining Ames mutagenicity of chlorinated natural organic matter (NOM)

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

Abstract:

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.


The research by the U.S. EPA found that L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) reacts rapidly and stoichiometrically with active chlorine and has limited interactions with disinfection byproducts. They 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.

        

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