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HEALTH EFFECTS OF NITRATES IN WATER
Shuval, H. AND N. Gruener. HEALTH EFFECTS OF NITRATES IN WATER. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/1-77/030.
A multi faceted study of the health effects of nitrate in drinking water using epidemiological and toxicological techniques is reported. The results of the epidemiological studies indicate that infants consuming appreciable amounts of water high in nitrates in the form of powdered milk formula show significantly raised methemoglobin levels. This is also true for infants consuming tap water having a nitrate concentration ranging from 45-55 milligrams per liter. Laboratory studies of acute and chronic exposure used nitrites and found indication that nitrites can pass the rats placenta and cause raised methemoglobin levels in the fetus; that pregnant rats are particularly sensitive to exposure to nitrites, that pups born to dams exposed to nitrites during gestation show poor growth and development; and that rats exposed to sodium nitrate as well as sodium nitrite in their drinking water for 18 months show distinct deviations in heart blood vessels even at the level of 200 mg/liter of NaNO2. Behavioral effects were noted in mice exposed to high concentrations of nitrite in drinking water.