Do not be fooled by the pro-chloramine experts that were brought into Rutland on Tuesday. There is no scientific evidence that proves monochloramine’s safety. In fact, a lot of what was said at the mayor’s forum was silly.
Dr. Vose said that she thinks monochloramines are safe. After all, she lived for 10 years through two pregnancies with monochloramine in her water and suffered no adverse effects. That’s like saying “I smoked for X number of years and I didn’t suffer respiratory problems. Therefore cigarettes are safe.”
Some of the experts said, “People will get sick any way” so why should we worry about the few who will suffer mild to severe adverse effects? So if people get the flu and are sick should we not get our flu shots? Prevention has always been a high priority in my life.
A Vermont company offers a filtration system for $2,300 per household and an annual filter replacement for about $900. That is a far cry from the $125 per year that GAC will cost. There is no accommodation to supply home filters for people who will need them. Individual homeowners will have to bear the cost.
Again, Dr. Vose said that animal studies done in the 1970s showed no specific toxic effect. She further stated that 100 interviews based on self-diagnosis caused no concerns. Self-diagnosis was necessary because doctors don’t have the science to help them make diagnoses. Dr. Vose and others conclude that we don’t need a long-term human study even though she admits that some people will have health problems. Is it scientific to ignore the growing body of anecdotal reports that an unknown number of people will suffer adverse effects from monochloramine, and the fact that some cities are opting out of chloramine in favor of GAC?
Perhaps the silliest argument was that we don’t need to worry because there is naturally occurring ammonia in foods like cheese, peanut butter and onions. Ammonia in natural foods is ingested differently than it would be in water where it is mixed with chlorine and forms by-products that can reach dangerous levels. And I don’t know anyone who has recently taken a bath, shower or washed their clothes in cheese or onions.
While there is no scientific evidence to help us make this decision, common sense tells us that taking undesirable elements out of the water through a granular activated carbon filtration and getting “great water” is preferable to adding more chemicals that will make a certain segment of the population suffer adverse effects. It makes sense as we consider both the health and financial concerns facing this community.
Dr. ALIS HEADLAM
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