When most people hear the term “nitrates,” they think of the warnings about cancer-causing preservatives in hot dogs and deli meats. But, did you know that nitrate is a common contaminant in groundwater as well? Byproducts of fertilizers can taint our groundwater, and unfortunately, these nitrates aren’t filtered out of the water before it reaches your tap.

Why We Need to Worry about Nitrates

Nitrates can be both naturally-occurring and synthetic. Even though this compound is found in natural sources in the environment, doesn’t mean that it is good for your health. In fact, information shows that you could be facing both short- and long-term health consequences by drinking water loaded with nitrates.

Medical experts have spoken out to warn parents about the health dangers for children consuming and drinking nitrates. But warnings shouldn’t only apply to young children; people of all ages need to be careful about nitrate exposure. These are a few health concerns for people exposed to high levels of nitrates in their drinking water:

  • Blue Baby Syndrome: Also known as methemoglobinemia, “blue baby syndrome” is the main concern related to water contaminated with nitrates. This condition happens when there is a decreased amount of hemoglobin in the blood, causing a baby’s skin to turn blue.

  • Cancer: Published studies show that nitrate is a precursor to human carcinogens (N-Nitroso compounds). Many researchers agree that it is safe to say that high drinking water nitrate levels can increase cancer risk.

  • Thyroid Function: Danish researchers discovered that drinking high nitrate levels could be linked to thyroid problems, which affects hormone functions in the body.

  • Birth Defects: Additional research is needed, but there are at least five reported studies that show a connection between nitrate exposure and birth defects.

“Because potential health risks are often unknown or hard to predict, many drinking water standards are set at some fraction of the level of “no-observed adverse-health effects.”

— Margaret McCasland, Nancy M. Trautmann, and Keith S. Porter Center for Environmental Research

US Regulations aren’t Strict Enough

Many countries have taken action by limiting the allowable nitrate levels in the water. But the US standards are pretty lax compared to other countries. For example, 10 mc/l of NO3 is allowed here in the states, while the regulations in Germany are twice as strict and only allow 4.4 ppm.

Drinking tap water in the US means that you are increasing the risk of the health concerns listed above. Your family deserves a better water source!

Bottled water isn’t a good solution because most products consist of expensive tap water, with additional chemicals due to the plastic container. Standard water filters built into the fridge or sold by popular brands (like Brita or PUR) aren’t good enough to remove the nitrates in your water source. If you want to protect your family from tainted water, then it’s time to invest in a reputable home filtration system.

Our team at The Goodfor Co. believes that you deserve clean, quality water in your home. Call us any time to learn about the proven filtration products that make it easy to provide toxin-free water for your family. We’re happy to complete a free water test to determine the contaminants in your tap water. Call any time to schedule a time to test your drinking water source.