Water Safety & Precautions

Fish & Amphibians
Like chlorine, chloramines are toxic to cold-blooded animals, such as fish and frogs, because water passes through the gills of the fish or skin of the reptile and directly enters the bloodstream. To protect fish and amphibians, chloramines can be neutralized or removed from the water with inexpensive water treatment products (drops or tablets) or specialized carbon filters. These products are readily available at most pet supply stores and aquarium dealers.

Chloramines are different than chlorine in that they will not easily dissipate from water through boiling or holding water in open, standing containers. While sunlight and aeration help remove chloramines from water, allowing water to sit is not a reliable method of chloramines removal. Fish owners must be sure to neutralize or remove chloramines from the water before putting the water in a fish tank.

Dialysis Patients & Providers

During the dialysis process, water comes in contact with the blood across a permeable membrane. Chloramines in that water would be toxic, just as chlorine is toxic, and must be removed from water used in kidney dialysis machines.

Water purification techniques used for kidney dialysis are already designed to remove both chlorine and chloramines. Medical centers that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying the water that enters dialysis machines. They currently treat water to remove chlorine. Some modification to the treatment process may be necessary to remove chloramines.

Neutralizing Chloramines
There are two common ways to neutralize or remove chlorine and chloramines from water - adding ascorbic acid or using granular activated carbon treatment. The most noticeable impact caused by the addition of chloramines will be experienced by facilities that currently utilized carbon filter tanks to purify the water. These facilities will most likely have to replace their filters more frequently.

Industry Standards

Dialysis industry standards require that a nurse, technician, or trained caregiver test for both chlorine and chloramines after the purification process to ensure that these chemicals have been removed from the water before the water is used in a dialysis machine

Drinking Water
It is safe for dialysis patients to drink water treated with chloramines because the digestive process neutralizes chloramines before they enter the bloodstream.

Businesses Using Highly Processed Water
Businesses using highly processed water, such a laboratories, photography labs, and soft drink bottlers may also need to take special precautions to ensure their existing water treatment process will remove chloramines from water prior to use. In most cases, a simple process adjustment will be all that is needed.