There are a number of contaminants that threaten the safety and quality of our nations drinking water, but none seem so benign as nitrates, a form of nitrogen (NO₃⁻). Nitrogen is needed by every living plant and animal and can be found in the soil, the air we breathe, rain, and the water we drink. Nitrogen is usually present in the form of ammonia (NH3), nitrite (NO2⁻), and nitrate (NO₃⁻). How could this essential element be a concern? If infants drink baby formula or water that contains an elevated level of nitrate or nitrite, the baby could die from the disease "methemoglobinemia". Current research suggests that long-term exposure to elevated nitrates in drinking water may cause the development of cancer. I hope that these potential concerns make you read on and learn more about nitrates. What is "Methemoglobinemia" anyway?
"When an infant consumes formula made with nitrate or nitrite-contaminated water, the nitrates are converted in the child’s stomach to nitrite. The nitrite is then absorbed into the body and reacts with the blood (hemoglobin) to form methemoglobin. Since hemoglobin carries the oxygen throughout the body and methemoglobin can not carry oxygen, the infant can suffocate due to lack of oxygen". This is sometimes known as "Blue Baby Syndrome". The common water treatment systems approach to remove nitrate include ion-exchange resins, distillation, and reverse osmosis.
We recommend that, prior to installing a Water Treatment System, you Get Informed by gathering as much information as possible and Get Tested by conducting multiple levels of testing depending on your needs: Level 1 Observational Testing using our Self Test Web App, Level 2 Do-It-Yourself Testing, Level 3 Informational Lab Testing and, if needed, Level 4 Certified Testing conducted by a water professional.
If you have any questions please Contact the KnowYourH2O team.
Not up for A DIY? Need help identifying a Local KnowYourH20 Team Professional. Contact Us