Special Report #2: Nitrates, Nitrites, Nitrogen: Health Hazard and Water Testing and Test Kits
Report # 2- Nitrates and Drinking Water
If infants drinking baby formula or water that contains an elevated level of nitrate or nitrite the baby could die from the disease "methemoglobinema". Current research suggests that long-term exposure to nitrates in drinking water may cause the development of cancer. I hope that these potential concerns make your read on and learn more about nitrates. What is "Methemoglobinema" anyway?
The concern over the ability of nitrates to cause cancer is unclear. Once in the body the nitrate or nitrite can form a serious of nitrogen compounds that have been tested and shown to be cancer causing agents in laboratory animals. Currently, there is no direct evidence that nitrate-contaminated drinking water causes cancer, but it is recommended that you reduce your exposure to these compounds.
A recent study conduct by the EPA estimated that over 600,000 household had nitrate levels above the safe drinking water standard of 10 milligram NO3-N per liter (nitrate as nitrogen) and a study by the US Geological Survey showed that at least 6 % of the nations rural wells exceeded the drinking water standard. The primary sources of nitrogen:
Farming/Landscaping: excessive or improper fertilizer use and improper storage of manure
Nitrate contamination is typically a problem in agricultural areas, but other rural non-agricultural communities are also at risk.
The only ways to prevent nitrate contamination of a water supply include: proper siting of water system, proper management of fertilizers and manure, proper well construction (sanitary wells), and install point-of-use water treatment devices. The primary water treatment devices for nitrate removal include: ion exchange resins, distillation, and reverse osmosis. It is critical that you have your water tested for this contaminant.
References or other resources
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