Big Ag pollution tied to rise in pediatric cancers and birth defects

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big-ag-pollution-linked-to-pediatric-cancers(NaturalHealth365)  In the Corn Belt, there’s been a chemical war raging for decades.  Over the years, this battle has surged forward, driven by rural families with limited support, only to be beaten back by the mighty financial powers that be.  The fight is a noble one: for the lives of children and the foe is clearly Big Ag.

The problem is contamination of the city’s drinking water supply by runoff of toxic farm chemicals and byproducts, like nitrates, courtesy of Big Ag.  Clearly, there are many great challenges to fighting Big Ag.

The dangers of nitrates and how they get into the water supply

Nitrates are compounds that are nitrogen-based and found in agricultural products like liquid waste, fertilizers, and manure.  In nature, nitrates are produced when the right combination of nitrogen and natural bacteria are introduced into the soil.

Most nitrates are water soluble and typically contaminate a water supply via leakage or surface runoff of septic systems, landfills, urban drainage, wastewater, and fertilized soil.  Once they get into the groundwater, rivers, and lakes in an area, there is a great potential that they will find their way into the water treatment plants.  While water in these plants is processed for drinking, it only removes some of the nitrates, they are not eliminated completely.

Nitrates in well water are very common.  The well owner is responsible for managing, testing, and eliminating nitrates in the water.  Local authorities have no jurisdiction in those cases.

Rise in health conditions linked to nitrates in water

In the body, nitrogen affects the blood’s ability to effectively carry oxygen throughout the system.  Nitrates in the body can lead to a number of conditions, including:

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  • Breast cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer
  • Blue baby syndrome (methemoglobinemia) is a life-threatening condition that causes a reduction in blood pressure and increased heart rate.  The skin turns a blueish color.
  • Thyroid disease – inhibits iodine uptake, which induces hypertrophy of the gland
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as fetal deaths, low birth rate, spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and congenital malformations
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 1 diabetes in children
  • Lung disease
  • Various symptoms including…
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Anemia

How much nitrate is too much?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set 10 mg/L of nitrate as the maximum contaminant level (MCL) in drinking water.  However, a growing number of organizations believe that the EPA’s standards miss the mark and are too lenient.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), among others, argues that even those trace amounts are dangerous.  It offers an alternative guideline for nitrates in drinking water at 0.14 ppm, which is substantially lower than the EPA’s MCL.

Are nitrates in your water? Here’s what to do

You aren’t at the mercy of Big Ag, your city’s drinking water supply, or the powers that be that are more concerned about their bank accounts than your best interest.  If you want to ensure better quality drinking water in your home, there are things you can do.

Test the water for nitrates

You can purchase a water quality test kit online for a reasonable price, usually $20 or less.  Using a state-certified lab to test your water is more expensive, but the analysis is much more detailed.

Remove nitrates from your drinking water

Explore various methods for eliminating nitrates from your drinking water, including:

  • Reverse osmosis filtration
  • Ion exchange systems
  • Distillation processes

Nitrates pose serious health concerns when introduced into drinking water.  This is especially true for women, young children, infants, and babies.  While there are standards currently in place, it isn’t enough and it doesn’t look like those standards will be changing anytime soon.

The best thing you can do is take the appropriate steps to secure your home.  Test your drinking water and use the best water filtration system to remove nitrates and keep your family safe.

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