New report links nitrate in drinking water to birth defects
High levels of nitrates, atrazine and arsenic in drinking water are linked in a new U.S. study to birth defects such as cleft palate, cleft lip and limb deficiencies.
“Both nitrate and atrazine are agricultural compounds that can leech through the soil into drinking water sources, which the report indicates may be putting embryos at risk,” says Alena Noble, sales director at Love Pure Water Limited, which supplies advanced residential water purifying solutions in the UK.
Mrs. Noble said the study recently published in the journal Current Environmental Health Reports highlights that no-one can take the quality of their tap water for granted, especially in the wake of the lead crisis that struck the US town of Flint in Michigan
The report was written by Professor Jean Brender at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, who has specialised in studying the effects chemicals in water can have on developing fetuses. Using her own research and looking at some other similar studies, she identified three contaminants – nitrates, atrazine and arsenic – in drinking water that may be associated with birth defects, especially among women who primarily drink water from a private well in rural areas.
“Water doesn’t need to smell bad to be potentially hazardous. We all need to be alert to the fact that regardless of whether we drink from a public water supply or a private well, there is always a risk of contamination, as Dr. Brender’s report spotlights,” said Mrs. Noble