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Understanding the effects of nitrate exposure

| Feb 14, 2021 | Environmental Law |

Nitrate compounds represent one of New Jersey’s most common environmental pollutants. Consumption of nitrates in food and drinking water can result in serious health problems, including impacted oxygen delivery throughout the body.

Review the common symptoms of nitrate exposure and explore avenues for legal recourse if you or a family member becomes ill from this type of pollutant.

Symptoms of nitrate exposure

The telltale sign of excessive nitrate exposure is a bluish tinge to the skin, particularly among infants. This condition can also cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, rapid heart rate and low blood pressure.

Nitrate poisoning is a health emergency. Research associates long-term exposure to this pollutant with an increased risk of cancer affecting the gastrointestinal system.

Risk factors

Nitrate poisoning most commonly affects babies younger than six months who consume formula. However, exposure can also cause serious health risks for adults, especially those who have existing metabolic problems, sepsis, lung disease, heart disease or anemia.

How to get help

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, drinking water should contain no more than 10 mg/L of nitrate. If you have noticed the symptoms of nitrate exposure, you may want to test your home’s water to see whether you have high nitrate levels.

Toxic chemical exposure in New Jersey falls under the state’s personal injury laws. That means you can sue for legal damages if you have experienced a monetary loss because of health problems caused by negligent dumping of nitrates and other chemicals. You have two years to file this type of lawsuit from the time of diagnosis.

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