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Bacteria and Nitrates:

 

These pollutants are found in human and

animal wastes. Septic tanks can cause

bacterial and nitrate pollution. So can

large numbers of farm animals. Both

septic systems and animal manures

must be carefully managed to prevent

pollution. Sanitary landfills and

garbage dumps are also sources.

Children and some adults are at extra

risk when exposed to water-born

bacteria. These include the elderly and

people whose immune systems are

weak due to AIDS or treatments for

cancer. Fertilizers can add to nitrate

problems. Nitrates cause a health

threat in very young infants called

“blue baby” syndrome. This condition

disrupts oxygen flow in the blood.

 

Nitrates and Nitrites:

 

Although high nitrate levels are usually due to

human activities (see below), they may

be found naturally in ground water.

They come from the breakdown of

nitrogen compounds in the soil.

Flowing ground water picks them up

from the soil. Drinking large amounts

of nitrates and nitrites is particularly

threatening to infants (for example,

when mixed in formula).

VermontFarms Landfill septic-tank-2