Did you know that when nitrates interact with the hemoglobin in red blood cells turns the hemoglobin; which carries oxygen, forms a new substance called methemoglobin. Methemoglobin can’t carry sufficient oxygen to the body’s cells and tissues. This doesn’t seem to be a problem in adults, but when it comes to infants it seems to be a problem. I am strongly persuaded that nitrate in well water has to deal with blue baby syndrome. According to two cases on Environmental Health Perspectives, two babies were brought in to the emergency room.
One baby’s face started to turn gray and been crabbier than usual; the other baby’s parents stated there baby turned “completely blue” and also had some troubles breathing. The emergency nurses noted that “that the infant was dehydrated, dusky, and cold to the touch. ” The thing that both of these babies had in common was that there bottles and foods were made using well water.
But when they both were on bottled water they were completely healthy. Now explain that? You can’t! How can you protect your drinking water from being contaminated with nitrates?
If you well is in a bad spot, you will have to relocate it up hill at least 100 ft away from feedlots, septic systems, barnyards and chemical storage facilities. Then make sure that you properly seal or cap the abandoned well. You also can purify the water by using distillation, reverse osmosis, or Ion-exchange. Distillation you would start by boiling the water, which catches the resulting steam, and condenses the steam on a cold surface (a condenser).
Then nitrates and other minerals remain behind in the boiling tank.
Reverse osmosis forces water under pressure through a membrane that filters out minerals and nitrate. One-half to two-thirds of the water remains behind the membrane as rejected water. Higher-yield systems use water pressures of 150 psi (pounds per square inch). There’s also Ion-exchange; in this it would take another substance, such as chloride, and trades places with nitrate. An ion exchange unit is filled with special resin beads that are charged with chloride. As water passes over the beads, the resin takes up nitrate in exchange for chloride.
As more water passes over the resin, all the chloride is exchanged for nitrate. The resin is recharged by backwashing with sodium chloride solution. The backwash solution, which is high in nitrate, must be properly disposed of. “J. R. Self and R. M. Waskom” Benton Franklin Health District said that blue baby syndrome can be confuesed with other illnesses and some signs of mild to moderate blue baby syndrome are blue-baby syndrome may have diarrhea, vomiting, and/or be lethargic.
In more serous cases they might show more serious signs such as the skin, lips, or nailbeds may start turning a light gray or bluish color and the baby could also start to develop breathing problems. Your well should never be with in 100 yards of your septic system. Also garbage, farm animal pens, barns and especially agricultural areas where nitrogen fertilizers can contaminate ground water (this includes your home garden) should never come with in 100 yards of the well.
I think that new home buys that are thinking about having a baby or have a baby on the way should be told about the cost of septic systems that prevent nitrates from getting in well water. I also think that they should be warned about blue baby syndrome. It is hard to tell if you have nitrate in your well water or not because most of the time it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. The only way you can tell how much nitrogen is in your drinking water is by testing it. The EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 10mg/l of nitrate; anything higher may cause methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome) in infants.
Facts have shown that nitrates and blue baby syndrome are connected somehow. I’m convinced that nitrates in well water are what cause blue baby syndrome. Would you want to wake up one morning to your baby crying and looking like this ? ? Then don’t take the chance of your baby having blue baby syndrome and just buy bottled water to make your babies food. There are as proper management in formalizers, manures, and some other things that you can do to help prevent your baby looking like that one day.
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