Nitrates in Drinking Water Creating More Health Risks

Industrial agriculture and intensive modern farming has made the public increasingly wary of pesticides. But what about fertilizer? A new report just released from Iowa, the heart of industrial farming is issuing a warning on what the deluge of fertilizers is doing to our bodies. In the report from the Iowa Environmental Council, it was discovered that in a review of prior research, consumption of drinking water containing higher levels of nitrates (nitrogen-based compounds associated with fertilizer runoff) have been linked to a number of human health conditions. These include birth defects related to brain and spinal development as well as bladder and thyroid cancers.

Previously, it was thought that excess nitrate consumption was particularly dangerous for infants. Excess nitrate consumption is linked to the terrifying condition known as blue baby syndrome. It is known that babies fed formula made with nitrate-contaminated water could develop the potentially fatal Blue-baby Syndrome when the contaminants interfered with the baby’s ability to circulate oxygen in the blood, resulting in the skin turning blue.

The Iowa Environmental Council review raises new concerns over the potential health risks from water containing levels of nitrates below the federal standard — especially if other agricultural chemicals are also present. In one study, for example, a higher prevalence of bladder cancers was found in women who were exposed to water with nitrate concentrations greater than half the EPA’s limit, over a period of four years or more…Read More

October 5, 2016


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