Water quality fact sheet: Nitrate

Smedley, Pauline. 2004 Water quality fact sheet: Nitrate. British Geological Survey, 6pp.

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The primary health concern regarding nitrate and nitrite is the formation of methaemoglobinaemia, so- called ‘blue-baby syndrome’. Nitrate is reduced to nitrite in the stomach of infants, and nitrite is able to oxidize haemoglobin (Hb) to methaemoglobin (metHb), which is unable to transport oxygen around the body. This reduced oxygen transport becomes clinically manifest when metHb concentrations reach 10% or more of normal Hb concentrations; the condition, called methaemo- globinaemia, causes cyanosis and, at higher concentrations, asphyxia.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Groundwater Management
Funders/Sponsors: WaterAid
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Nitrate pollution, WAChem
Date made live: 01 Mar 2017 10:09 +0 (UTC)

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