What is nitrate?
Nitrate in drinking water is a salt that is created by natural bacteria converting nitrogen into nitrate. Nitrate is an acute contaminant, which means one exposure can affect a person’s health. One serious effect of nitrate on the human body is the reduction in ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen.
In infants, this can lead to methemoglobinemia or “blue baby syndrome,” a medically treated condition where the infant is lacking oxygen and the skin becomes blue.
Nitrate can, in some cases, affect adutls with:
- Low stomach acid
- Lack of enzymes that convert affected red blood cells back to normal
- Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
The state regulates nitrate in drinking water. If levels in public drinking water rise above 10mg/L the water facility is required to notify those affected by the contaminant. (WSDOH)
What should you do to protect yourself?
Because nitrate is so prevalent in the environment, and because it’s a potential health risk, the EPA has found ways to remove nitrate from drinking water. These effective technologies include ion exchange resins, and high-pressure membranes like nanofiltration or reverse osmosis.
WaterDaddy can help ensure your tap water is clean and safe to drink. For more information about our filtration systems call 509-381-7818.
Or, schedule a FREE in-home water test to see what harmful chemicals are in your water here.
Washington State Department of Health, Environmental Public Health Office of Drinking Water. Nitrate in Drinking Water, July 2016, https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/331-214.pdf. Accessed 30 Oct. 2019.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Inorganic Contaminant Removal from Drinking Water by Reverse Osmosis, 16 Apr. 2004, https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=NRMRL&TIMSType=&count=10000&dirEntryId=40577&searchAll=&showCriteria=2&simpleSearch=0&startIndex=70001. https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=ORD&TIMSType=&count=10000&dirEntryId=35378&searchAll=&showCriteria=2&simpleSearch=0&startIndex=70001. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.