The nitrate levels in water in the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas aren’t anything to be too concerned about — or are they? When groundwater is located close to soil that has been heavily fertilized or is near sewage pipes, nitrate levels can spike. Unfortunately, high nitrate levels in water can be dangerous to some.
Who is Affected By High Nitrate Levels?
Most adults can handle high levels of nitrate (NO3), however, infants under the age of six months can develop “blue baby syndrome.” This is when the bacteria in an infant’s stomach converts nitrate to nitrite (NO2), which will prevent blood from carrying oxygen. As a result, an infant’s skin will develop a bluish tint with a possibility of death if the condition advances.
Why Are Infants So Vulnerable?
Infants under the age of six months normally have a low stomach acidity, which will increase as they reach the six-month mark. Once the stomach becomes acidic enough, the transformation of nitrate to nitrite will cease to occur. In addition to infants, pregnant women and those with blood disorders and low stomach acidity can also experience symptoms of “blue baby syndrome.”
Steps to Take if Nitrate Levels Are High
- Keep Away From Babies – If you believe your water has high levels of nitrate, do not give your baby any of this water. Bottled water is a good choice as it is required to meet nitrate standards.
- Boiling doesn’t Work – Many people think that boiling the water will remove any chemicals and compounds from the water. This is a myth because the concentration of nitrate would actually increase due to some of the water evaporating.
- Have Your Water Tested – Every homeowner should have their water tested every two to three years (annually if you have a well water system). While the water you’re supplied with might be of a higher quality, contaminated surface water can find its way into your water system. Additionally, a whole house water filtration system can help remove any contaminants.
High nitrate levels can be harmless to some, but DEADLY to others — make sure you know the facts! When your home is in dire need of a whole house water filtration system, contact Aquarius Water Conditioning. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (888) 741-9025.
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