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Earth Dr Reese Halter's Blog


Exquisite bounty from an orange tree, Los Angeles, California.

Sierra Madre Tattler 22, 2013

In the early 1990s I cut my teeth in tree root physiology at The University of Melbourne, Australia, with one of the top tree physiology laboratories on the globe headed by Professor Emeritus Roger Sands (link).

Fresh water is indeed the lifeblood of planet Earth and thrifty trees provide tremendous insight to a perfect water-use model for humans to adopt especially in a warming, drier world.

Since my article on September 3, 2013 (link) Sierra Madre tapped into disinfectants from San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District full of chloramines. The color and smell have the community in an uproar. But what about the safety issues at hand?

According to Pennsylvania’s Chloramine Information Center chloramines are highly toxic to marine animals and fish. They ask a very pertinent question: If fish cannot live with chloramine then why should we?

That question begets the next one: Why are chloramines used? It turns out that chloramines, a chemical compound of chlorine and ammonia (the solvent you clean your floor with), are less effective as a disinfectant than chlorine but lasts longer in the water system (about 4 days).

According to Joseph Mercola MD (link) the toxic disinfection byproduct (DBPs) from chloramines will react with natural organic matter (like decaying tree leaves) becoming genotoxic by attacking human DNA.

DBPs are in fact 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine and out of all the known contaminants present in municipal water including fluorine and residual pharmaceutical drugs, DBPs are thought to be the worst assailants on human health.

For instance, trihalomethanes (THMs) are one of the most common DBPs and they are recognized for causing cancer in laboratory animals. In addition, THMs have been linked in both people and animals, causing spontaneous abortions, stillbirths and congenital malformations (even at low levels).

Moreover, at low exposure to DBPs they adversely impact the human body by weakening the autoimmune system – the body’s primary defense mechanism against infection.

DBPs damage the cardiovascular system – our heart and blood vessels. Are you aware that if your blood vessels were stretched out that they would encircle Earth four times or measure 99,604 miles?

DBPs also impair human kidneys. And for those children in Sierra Madre that suffer from asthma, chloramines make breathing even more difficult. (By the way, the latest research shows that having a dog could prevent both asthma and allergies in kids!).

An alternative water treatment process to chloramines is ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. This system could easily be powered in its entirety by solar energy since we are blessed to live in a solar-rich zone.

Australia, Radio 1, National: Ockham’s Razor

Earth Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster and distinguished conservation biologist. His latest book with Chris Maser is Life, The Wonder of it All

Contact Earth Dr Reese Halter

Text © by Dr Reese Halter 2013. All rights reserved.


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