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Revised Fact Sheets on Chloral Hydrate and Monochloramine

Closed on Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 05:00pm (AEDT). Submissions are no longer being accepted.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is seeking public comment on draft changes to two chemical fact sheets in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011).

You are invited under paragraph 13(d) of the National Health and Medical Research Act (1992) to make a submission to the NHMRC about the draft documents. The chemical fact sheets are on chloral hydrate (a chlorination by-product, also known as trichloroacetaldehyde) and monochloramine (a water disinfectant). The fact sheets contain guideline values for these chemicals in drinking water.

The fact sheets have been updated in line with the World Health Organization drinking water guidelines and other recent literature on these chemicals.

Chloral hydrate

Based on health considerations, the guideline value for chloral hydrate in drinking water has been increased from 0.02 mg/L to 0.1 mg/L. This is due to two factors:

  • An increase in the proportion of total daily intake of chloral hydrate from water. The current fact sheet assumes 20% of intake may come from drinking water, however as exposure is predominantly from water, the WHO and Health Canada guidelines have moved to a value of 80%; and
  • The availability of toxicological data collected over a longer period of time compared to the data used to derive the current guideline value.


A minor change to the monochloramine fact sheet has been made to correct a rounding issue in the calculation to convert the guideline value for monochloramine (NH2Cl) to chlorine (as Cl2/L), as the analytical method measures Cl2/L.

The derived guideline value for monochloramine is 3.29 mg/L, which for the purposes of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines has been rounded to 3 mg/L.  In the current fact sheet, the guideline value of 3 mg/L is used to calculate the equivalent guideline value for chlorine as Cl2/L of 4.1 mg Cl. It is more appropriate to use the derived guideline value of 3.29 mg/L in this calculation, which would give a guideline value of 4.54 mg Cl (which is rounded to 5 mg Cl).

If the change to the monochloramine fact sheet is agreed, a consequential change to the chlorine fact sheet will be required to include the proposed new guideline value for monochloramine.

How to make a submission

Submissions must be made through the NHMRC public consultation portal. If this is not possible, please contact the Project Officer by email to make alternative arrangements. Please include your name and address or phone number so we can contact you if required. Email submissions without agreement from the Project Officer and tracked changes on the draft revised fact sheets will not be considered. Please also provide complete references for any research articles you deem relevant that may not have been considered in the development of the draft documentation.

Please note that your name and organisation may be listed in the final documentation unless you specifically request your details not to be published. Your submission may also be made available on the NHMRC website. Please indicate in your submission if you wish for your submission to be de-identified or kept confidential. Please provide your comments in response to the questions below.

Consultation documents

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Consultation date

Please note the Timezone is AEDT.

Closing date: 
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 5:00pm
Please note that for some NHMRC consultations no extensions will be given. Where extensions are available you will need to contact the project officer using the contact details at the bottom of this page. However, in order for NHMRC to extend the date of a submission you will need to have created an account and started a submission.
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Page reviewed: 17 February, 2016