Steam additives

Greg Guild gguild at
Fri Apr 29 16:06:52 EST 1994

We are setting up a new flyroom and have a question concerning potential
side effects (on Drosophila) from humidification using commercial steam as
a water source.

The manufacturer of the environmental room would like to use a steam line
for humidification.  (Any reader who has experienced a Philadelphia summer
will realize that additional humidification is definitely unnecessary from
May through September.)  It turns out that most deionized water is probably
too "pure" for the copper in the humidification system (eventually
dissolving some components) and good old Philadelphia tap is probably 10 mM
crud (eventually clogging the system).  

Philadelphia Thermal Energy supplies steam which includes low
concentrations  (probably <10 ppm) of morpholine and cyclohexylamine for pH
control.  These products are FDA and USDA approved for steam
humidification, steam sterilization, and food preparation.

Is anyone aquainted with these compounds and their potential impact on
Drosophila health and welfare?  Thanks in advance. 

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