Drinking Water Criteria Document for Chloramines
Critical to establishing a regulatory strategy for drinking water is identifying those contaminants which pose the greatest risk to human health and consequently, what treatments could be developed to address those risks and at what cost. The National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEAs) risk assessment research addresses this need through characterizing the adverse health consequences of exposure to toxic or pathogenic agents in drinking water. It provides for the integration and interpretation of the scientific data (health and exposure) to predict potential human health risks associated with various disinfectants, disinfectant by products and pathogens. NCEA develops analytical methodologies and models for the qualitative and quantitative estimates of individual or aggregate risks posed by these contaminants, thereby allowing different risk reduction options to be evaluated. In addition, NCEA is developing a comprehensive strategy for comparing the different health risks and the adverse outcomes associated with exposure to chemicals and microbes in drinking water. For drinking water the focus is to develop a comparative risk model to measure and compare the known and potential health risks that might result from exposure to multiple stressors transmitted from the same drinking water source. Exposure to these stressors may result in a variety of adverse health outcomes including acute and chronic gastrointestinal illness, cancer, liver toxicity, and reproductive and developmental disorders. This methodology would allow the assessment of these different risks in a structured framework in order that they can be directly compared in a meaningful way. This document deals primarily with inorganic chloramines; however, where data are limited or not available various chlorinated amino compounds (including organic chloramines) will be provided as supplemental information.