Is Drinking Water With High Nitrate Levels Risky? Protect Yourself With Filtration Systems
According to experts, safe drinking water should contain nitrates not exceeding ten ppm (parts per million). That means consuming water with anything more than ten mg (milligrams) of nitrate per liter of water is highly inadvisable. If you are not aware, Nitrates are compounds made up of oxygen and nitrogen molecules. They are often naturally found in ground and surface water. Although nitrates aren't inherently hazardous, in high concentrations, they can cause the following health issues:
Methemoglobinemia is mainly characterized by methemoglobin- hemoglobin with no capacity for carrying oxygen. Therefore, the tissues of patients living with this health issue receive inadequate oxygen. Common symptoms of methemoglobinemia include dizziness, headache, vomiting, nausea, loss of muscle coordination, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Most importantly, it may cause blue-colored skin. That is why some people call it blue baby syndrome. Drinking water rife with nitrate may lead to methemoglobinemia because our bodies absorb this compound and convert a portion of it into nitrite. And that reacts with human blood, creating methemoglobin, which progressively impedes the body's ability to carry oxygen as the condition worsens.
As mentioned earlier, your body absorbs most nitrates in drinking water and converts them to nitrites. Unfortunately, that facilitates the production of N-nitrosamines. Experts associate these organic compounds with numerous cancers, including kidney, gastric, esophagus, and brain cancer. Gastric cancer is one of the most common issues resulting from drinking nitrate-rich water. Its warning signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, fluid build-up in the abdomen, blood in the stool, rapid weight loss, and nausea. Moreover, high nitrate levels in water for consumption are likely to enhance other compounds' cancer-causing potential.
3. Thyroid Dysfunction
Did you know drinking water full of nitrates interferes with the thyroid's iodide uptake? That happens because ingested nitrate binds to the sodium-iodide symporter found on the thyroid follicle's surface. That, in turn, increases the risks of thyroid dysfunction and, in extreme cases, thyroid cancer. If left to fester without treatment, Thyroid problems can cause additional severe physical and mental issues and undermine a female patient's ability to get pregnant. Not to forget, critically low thyroid hormone levels can put the life of a pregnant mother and the unborn child at risk.
Water Nitrate Filtration Solutions
As you may have already surmised, drinking water with low or no nitrates protects you from nitrate-related health issues like stomach cancer, thyroid disorders, and methemoglobinemia. Fortunately, you can eradicate nitrates from the water before consuming it using any of the following filtration systems: reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and water distiller systems. But to do that, first locate a trustworthy manufacturer and supplier offering state-of-the-art water filters. Then pick a product depending on your budget and water quality or filtration rate needs.
For more information about water nitrate filtration, contact a water service near you.