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Reiner Urges MWD to Drop Chloramine

Times Staff Writer

The Metropolitan Water District has not been honest about health risks associated with chloramine, a purifying chemical reintroduced to the district’s water Monday, Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner said today.

“MWD literature claiming that chloramines are safe is not justified by current scientific literature,” the district attorney said in a letter to the water district’s board of directors. “In particular, important questions remain about the long-term health effects of chloramines.” The letter was released by Reiner.

The district attorney urged the board to consider a more expensive purifying process, charcoal filtration, to eliminate potential cancer-causing chemicals that are formed by chlorine, the chemical previously used to cleanse the district’s water.

Keeping Pledge

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Reiner’s entry into the chloramine controversy is unusual for a district attorney, but consistent with Reiner’s pledge to more fully involve his office in public health issues.

A spokesman for the water district, Jay Malinowski, said the board “is satisfied that we are proceeding not only properly, but judiciously.

“All of the research that we have done, the reports we have commissioned, all of the scientific literature indicates that with the exception of . . . (kidney dialysis patients and tropical fish), chloramines do not pose a health threat,” Malinowski said.

The water district first introduced chloramine into its water as a substitute for chlorine last November but withdrew the chemical in December after it was reported that some kidney dialysis centers were unable to filter the chemical out of their water.

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