The presence of nitrates and nitrites in the water indicates the water was contaminated from the use of fertilizers in agriculture.

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2016-04-04

Dùng phân bón sẽ làm ô nhiễm môi trường đến hàng trăm năm sau - 1

The excessive amount of fertilizers in the fields soaked into the water and soil. Image Source: US Department of Agriculture.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo (US) has released a report showing the huge amount of fertilizer that now people are using to increase the levels of nitrate in drinking water to many times higher than safe level.
This pollution can last for hundreds of years although we may terminate the use of fertilizers. High nitrate in drinking water increases the risk of green skin syndrome (a blood disorder) for infants and other more serious problems of health.
The farmers used fertilizers containing nitrogen for their fields for more than 80 years. Hence, lakes and drinking water wells were also contaminated seriously in a long time.
Researchers have discovered that a large portion of the nitrogen from the fertilizer remains in the soil accumulates. Therefore, although farmers stop fertilizing, the lakes and water resources will continue to be contaminated because of the nitrogen from the soil.
The researchers analyzed data with 2 thousand soil samples across the Mississippi River Basin (USA). They found that agricultural land it had accumulated a large amount of nitrogen over time. Due to the growing process, nitrogen surface layer has been absorbed. So signs of pollution have been concealed.
When digging deeper 25-100cm, nitrogen pollution increasingly rise.
The results of model simulations on the computer indicates that only in the Mississippi River basin, the pollution of nitrogen in the water will continue for more than 30 years, although the farmers stop using fertilizer.
The scientists said that, because of the strict regulations in the US in the amount of fertilizer and pesticides applied to fields, the nitrogen pollution remains relatively mild.
In developing countries, the use of fertilizers and pesticides will make the situation more serious. Nitrogen pollution can last up to several hundred years whether to terminate the use of fertilizers.
Similar to phosphorus, nitrogen is a nutrient used by farmers with large amounts in order to increase crop yields
However, when using too much nitrogen, the land will not be fully absorbed and excessive nitrogen will leach into water sources. We will contaminate and reduce the proportion of oxygen in the water that causes aquatic organisms’ mass death.
Besides, the use of nitrogen-contaminated water for daily life activities will also cause more serious health problems, including blood poisoning syndrome (methemoglobinemia) and blood disorders in infants.
Certification methemoglobinemia (methemoglobinemia) is a blood disorder in which the body can not use the hemoglobin after it is damaged. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying molecule found in red blood cells.
In some cases of suffering from methemoglobinemia, the hemoglobin can not carry oxygen to the body parts effectively. Therefore, the body of the patient appears pale or bruises.
Infants are very susceptible to this disease because babies do not have enough enzyme to metabolize blood methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. Children with the disease are often pale and prone to life-threatening, especially children under 6 months old.
When getting nitrite poisoning, the body will not be able to fulfill the respiratory function, with symptoms such as difficult breathing, stuffy. Typically, children above 6 months and adults are less affected by methemoglobinemia due to digestive system is capable of absorbing and disposing of nitrate.

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