UN SDG #6 Clean Water and Sanitation UN SDG #6
UN SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being UN SDG #3

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Impact of Nitrites and Nitrates in Our Water on Blue Baby Syndrome

Nitrites and Nitrates are present in drinking water in water systems across the country and cause potential harm to those drinking the contaminated water. Exposure can lead to blue baby syndrome in infants, developmental effects, and cardiovascular disease, or in extreme cases, can lead to death.

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Impact of Nitrites and Nitrates in Our Water on Blue Baby Syndrome

Nitrites and Nitrates are present in drinking water in water systems across the country and cause potential harm to those drinking the contaminated water. Exposure can lead to blue baby syndrome in infants, developmental effects, and cardiovascular disease, or in extreme cases, can lead to death.
1.4M
people impacted
$1.6T
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

Exposure to nitrites and nitrates from contaminated drinking water can lead to blue baby syndrome in infants (potentially leading to death in extreme cases), developmental effects, and cardiovascular disease. In extreme cases, blue baby syndrome can be severe and lead to death.

Symptoms and Causes

Water system infrastructure in the U.S. is outdated and deteriorating. Though the Safe Drinking Water Act was established in 1974 and consists of rules that regulate about 100 contaminants found in drinking water, NRDC has for more than 25 years documented serious problems including the infrastructure itself, widespread violations and inadequate enforcement.

the impact
Negative Effects

In 2015, there were 1,529 violations (459 health-based) at community water systems serving 3,867,431 people (1,364,494 health-based). Formal enforcement action was taken in 11.3 percent of all cases (and 27.9 percent of health-based cases).

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