Why is it dangerous for infants to consume too much nitrate?

What happens if baby has too many nitrates?

In simplest terms, ingesting excessive amounts of nitrates can negatively affect the blood counts of very young babies. The medical term for this is methemoglobinemia.

What effect can nitrates have on infants?

Infants who drink water with high levels of nitrate (or eat foods made with nitrate-contaminated water) may develop a serious health condition due to the lack of oxygen. This condition is called methemoglobinemia or “blue baby syndrome.” Some scientists think diarrhea makes this problem worse.

What happens if you eat too much nitrates?

Health risks of consuming added nitrates, include: Methemoglobinemia in infants (blue baby syndrome) Increased risk of cancer. Complications during pregnancy.

Why are infants more susceptible to nitrates?

Nitrate becomes toxic when it is reduced to nitrite, a process that can occur in the stomach as well as in the saliva. Infants are especially susceptible because their stomach juices are less acidic and therefore are conducive to the growth of nitrate-reducing bacteria.

How does nitrates affect the body?

Nitrate can affect how our blood carries oxygen. Nitrate can turn hemoglobin (the protein in blood that carries oxygen) into methemoglobin . High levels can turn skin to a bluish or gray color and cause more serious health effects like weakness, excess heart rate, fatigue, and dizziness.

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How much nitrate is toxic to humans?

Acute Toxic Effects

Human lethal doses of 4–50 g (equivalent to 67–833 mg kg1 body weight) have been reported. Toxic doses range from 2 to 5 g (RIVM, 1989, WHO, 2011) of NO3.

How much nitrate is too much?

The health concern is with levels of nitrate over 10 mg/L. High levels of nitrate in water can be a result of runoff or leakage from fertilized soil, wastewater, landfills, animal feedlots, septic systems, or urban drainage.

When nitrate gets into the blood of an infant it causes?

Methemoglobinemia – Happens most commonly due to nitrate poisoning. In infants smaller than 6 months the nitrate may get converted to nitrite which when mixed with blood form methemoglobin. This compound traps oxygen and doesn’t release it giving babies a bluish color. Infants with Down syndrome may have heart defects.

What is nitrate toxicity?

Nitrate toxicity is a function of the amount and rate at which nitrate is consumed. When the animal consumes a normal forage diet containing large amounts of nitrate, the conversion of nitrite to ammonia becomes the limiting factor allowing nitrite to accumulate to toxic levels.

Can nitrates make you sick?

Nitrate and nitrite are molecules that are part of the nitrogen cycle. These molecules are forms of nitrogen, which are in soil and water. Nitrate and/or nitrite can collect in well water and when the levels are high, it can make people sick. You can’t taste or smell nitrate and nitrite.

Is sodium nitrate toxic?

Sodium nitrate is a widespread substance in the environment, and in itself, contrary to potassium nitrate, seems relatively non-toxic.

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