Why are nitrates bad

Though nitrogen accounts for some constituents of the human body, such as vitamins, proteins, hormones and enzymes, its character is not entirely pristine. This is because of the caustic forms it takes upon undergoing some uncontrolled natural reactions.

It is common knowledge that plants require nitrogen compounds to sustain their vital activities. Thus, farmers and agriculturists all across the globe use nitrogenous fertilizers to supplement the natural supplies. However, plants are in no habit of banking the excess nitrogen content. Consequently, the unused nitrogen gets oxidized and takes the rather notorious form of nitrates, with the chemical formula. This compound percolates the ground and hides itself in the underground waters. Apart from excess and unused fertilizers, industries also contribute handsomely to the cause of concentration of nitrates by releasing nitrate-rich wastes. Its presence in the water we drink, or the food we intake is a cause of worry because of the drastic impact it has on the functioning of the body. In children and infants, the effects are much more obvious and alarming.

The blue baby syndrome, medically known as methemoglobinemia, is a direct consequence of nitrate intake. In adults, it weakens the vital oxygen exchange mechanism taking place inside the body by combining with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin. If not attended to in time, such a problem can acquire demonic proportions and lead to severe damages to the internal machinery of the human body. This is because the nitrate concentration can rise pretty rapidly and much before you realize, it could take a toll on your health and render remedies futile. Nitrates are also known to cause some peculiar cancers, which are curable. Animals also run the risk of facing the wrath of nitrates. A nitrate laden diet hampers the proper development of the young one inside the mammal’s body. Cattle and horses are the most affected farm animals from nitrate toxicosis. The fact that agricultural practices around the world do not involve any specific measures to mitigate the risks of nitrate accumulation, we all lay exposed to the attacks of nitrates.