Water Quality Association offers fact sheet on nitrate in response to new report on drinking water supplies
LISLE, Ill. – The Water Quality Association is making a fact sheet on nitrate available following a report by the Environmental Working Group that drinking water supplies in rural areas across the United States are contaminated with nitrate, with the people in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin at the highest risk.
Nitrate contamination can come from various sources, including fertilizers, manure, septic systems and natural decomposition of organic matter. Elevated levels of nitrate in drinking water sources are known to cause adverse health effects in human beings. Water sources contaminated with nitrate can pose health threats to infants less than six months of age.
Infants exposed to nitrate are susceptible to methemoglobinemia, or “Blue Baby Syndrome,” which interferes with the ability of the infant’s blood to carry oxygen. This condition, in some cases, can be fatal. Pregnant women, individuals with reduced stomach acidity, and people with certain blood disorders may also be susceptible to nitrate-induced methemoglobinemia.
WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
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