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Jane Lazgin

Dear Dr. Wang,

Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water takes the safety of our product very seriously, and we would like to address statements on your blog about our product’s regulation, safety and testing standards. Unfortunately, it sounds like there is a misunderstanding about how we test our spring water, including Arrowhead Natural Spring Water, and we hope to set the record straight.

It’s important to understand who sets the safety standards for bottled water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes rules for bottled water as a food product. By law, FDA regulations for bottled water must be as strong and protective of public health as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations for tap water.

At Nestlé Waters, we follow a 10-step process to ensure our water is of the highest quality, taste, and composition before it is hygienically sealed in convenience-sized containers. We test our products throughout the bottling process and conduct hourly tests on finished products to guarantee the quality of our water. We screen for over 200 possible contaminants annually, even more than the FDA requires. For more information on our 10-step process, please click here: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/NWNA_10_Step_SW_Process.pdf.

We stand behind the quality of our products, and water quality reports for Arrowhead and all of our brands can be found at www.nestle-watersna.com.

We think this information will be of interest to your readers, and we hope you consider including these facts in your next post.


Jane Lazgin
Director, Corporate Communications
Nestlé Waters North America
777 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 863-0240

Ellen Powell

I forgot to address the issue of regulation of chloramine disinfection products (DBPs) in my long winded post above. The only DBPs that chloramine makes that are regulated are the ones that chlorine also makes. Chloramine has its own DBPs, many of which are much more toxic than the ones of chlorine the EPA made this new rule about, such as causing single strand DNA breakage in cells (mutation). Nitrosamines are another of chloramine's DBPs that are intensely toxic. There are plenty more.

When chemicals in drinking water are not regulated that means that the water districts do not have to test for them. Our water could be loaded with dangerous DBPs made by chloramine and we don't know because no one's testing for those.

Ellen Powell

We are living in chloramine hell since it replaced chlorine to disinfect the water in the distribution pipes in 4/06 in my water district in VT.

This may not be a chemical the EWG has not quite cottoned onto yet. We are working to help them become aware of this nightmare.

Chloramine is made from chlorine and ammonia, a terrible combination of chemicals. I don’t know about you, but when I was setting up housekeeping my mother warned me not to mix those two in a bucket to clean with because the fumes would kill me.

Chloramine went into our water in 4/06 and life has been horrible as a result for many people- just under 300 to date- more coming in all the time- in our water district. We call it “chloramine”, singular, but it is officially called chloramines (plural). This is because there are three species of chloramine that can be more or less present, depending on conditions like water temperature, pH, aerosolization of the water, and chlorine to ammonia ratio. They are monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine. All are irritants and each one is more irritating than the one before it.

Symptoms being experienced here since the switch to chloramine:

Skin: dry, red, burning, inflamed, itchy skin or rashes. Cracked and bleeding skin, welts and open sores.

Respiratory: sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and even full-blown asthma-like reactions.

Digestive: dry mouth, dry/swollen throat, acid reflux, irritable bowel-like symptoms.

Eyes: dry, burning, tearing, stinging, blurry vision.

Here are some other things to consider as you think about chloramine:

*The World Health Organization (WHO) says that chloramine is about 2,000 and 100,000 times less effective than chloramine at the inactivation of e.Coli and rotaviruses respectively. It takes 25x as much chloramine as chlorine to kill pathogens in the water as fast as chlorine does.

*There are no human or animal studies on the skin or respiratory effects of chloraminated water, or on the health effects of chloramine, in general. Doctors cannot diagnose chloramine-related symptoms. They are completely at a loss to help their patients -even if it did occur to them that a chemical in the tap water might be what is causing the problems their patients experience.

*Chloramine is much more corrosive to indoor plumbing (as well as to our bodies) than chlorine, leaching lead into the water from copper pipes, “lead-free” brass fittings and lead solder. (Google marc edwards + lead + chloramine to learn more about this.) Chloraminated tap water corrodes rubber toilet flappers and gaskets very quickly. It also causes pin-holing in copper pipes. Water districts commonly add phosphates to the water as a “corrosion inhibitor” to coat the pipes with, and keep lead from leaching into the water. Wonder how well that works. Phosphates have their own list of problems, one being that they are food for microorganisms and bacteria, supporting them to increase in numbers within the distribution pipes and the pipes in our homes. So, chloramine, the inferior disinfectant, now has an even bigger problem trying to keep the water free of bacteria and organisms. Chloramine wreaks havoc on PVC pipes.

*You cannot boil or distill chloramine out of water like you can chlorine. And if you put a bowl of chloraminated water on the counter, the chloramine will take weeks to dissipate out of the water. Chlorine takes a couple of hours to. There is no carbon filter that completely removes chloramine, like a Brita or Pur filter, for instance. Only LOTS of carbon and reverse osmosis will get the job done- VERY expensive, extremely wasteful, and only good for cold water. Plus, the risk of pathogen-laden filters is much higher than when the water you are filtering is disinfected with chlorine because chloramine is such an inferior disinfectant to chlorine (and most other forms of water disinfection).

We know of people from all over the U.S, and Scotland who are suffering from the same symptoms that we are since chloramine went into their municipal water: Los Angeles, San Diego, NY, FL, TX, CO, LA, ME, NH, OH, MA, KS, GA, OK, VA, Washington DC, KY, MO, and Scotland. We are working with citizen groups who are concerned about chloramine in NY, PA, and CA. Go look at our websites and get educated before it’s too late. Maybe you can stop them from switching to chloramine where you live. www.chloramine.org, http://vce.org/chloramine.html, www.chloramineinfocenter.net

And if chloramine comes into your water and you get symptoms, then get active about it. There are more and more who are- you won’t be alone.

Why Chloramine?

A new EPA rule is causing water districts all over the country to switch to chloramine as a disinfectant in the distribution pipes. Chloramine is the cheap lazy man’s way to meet this rule. There are other much safer and doable ways to handle this: prefiltration and/or UV light to remove precursers, followed in the distribution pipes with chlorine is one. And there are plenty of water systems in the U.S. who do not use chloramine to meet this rule. It doesn’t have to be.

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