Nitrates In Drinking Water Increase The Risk Of Developing Colorectal Cancer
What has been suspected for years has now been confirmed: the presence of nitrates in drinking water increases the risk of developing a common form of cancer, even at rates below the current ‘safe’ levels set by the World Health Organisation and followed by the UK Drinking Water Inspectorate.
Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark carried out the largest epidemiological study of its kind (1) and found a positive correlation between long-term exposure to nitrates in drinking water and the development of colorectal cancer, one of the most common cancers in Denmark and the most frequently occurring, worldwide.
Nitrates are naturally present in soil and water at unproblematic levels – excessive levels are caused by the contamination of waterways by human activity including industrial and agricultural pollution. Nitrates are a component of agricultural fertilisers and the UK has guidelines for reducing fertiliser run-off into rivers and streams:
“farmers are supposed to avoid spreading on slopes, in wet weather and during winter”. (2)
But it’s known that in some parts of the UK, even where river catchment areas have special conservation status,
“huge quantities of slurry and poultry manure are spread on farmland and… the rules and guidelines governing how this should be done are invariably broken”. (3).
Excessive levels of nitrates negatively impact the health of rivers and streams; they cause unchecked algae growth, which depletes the water of oxygen and makes the reproduction and survival of fish, aquatic insects, wildlife and plants difficult or impossible.(4) The risk to human health occurs because once entering the body, excessive nitrate levels interact with normally occurring amines and amides and convert into carcinogenic N -nitroso compounds.
The World Health Organisation recommends nitrate levels of 50 mg per litre of drinking water, a standard that Denmark, EU countries and the UK authorities follow.
Problematically, the Aarhus study found that colorectal cancer risks are associated with “concentrations far below the current drinking water standard”(5); in people exposed to the highest concentrations found in the study (9.3 mg per litre water) a 15% greater risk of developing colorectal cancer was identified, compared to those exposed to the lowest concentrations found (1.3 mg per litre water).
The researchers report: “we found statistically significant increased risks at drinking water levels above 3.87 mg/L, well below the current drinking water standard of 50 mg/L”. (6)
As a result, Professor Torben Sigsgaard from the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University warns:
“the drinking water standard ought to be lower in order to protect against chronic health effects” (7).
Clearly, current drinking water standards are not safe. But you don’t need to wait for the World Health Organisation and UK water regulators to take action, you can protect your health today by installing a Pure H2O tap water purifier in your home, workplace or venue.
Our technologically advanced reverse osmosis (RO) tap water purifiers remove up to 70% of nitrates and, when coupled with de-ionisation, our RODI water purification systems remove 99.99% of naturally occurring impurities and man-made contaminants including microplastics, hormones and medications, petrochemicals, lead and heavy metals. Our RODI purifiers also remove 100% of disease-causing micro-organisms, pathogens and viruses or your complete peace of mind.
Our drinking water purification systems not only protect your health, they are also an environmentally friendly option. Compared to drinking bottled water, our purifiers reduce plastics use and waste, carbon footprint, food miles and save you money, too. Pure H2O purifiers last longer than others on the market, they are water efficient and contain recyclable components.
Our purifiers are designed specifically for treating UK water whether from public supply (tap water) or private water supply (bore holes, wells, etc).
We’d like to help you protect your health. Call us today to discover which of our tap water purifiers is best for you and to book installation by one of our specially trained engineers at a time that’s convenient to you: 01483 617 000. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.pureh2o.co.uk/contact.html
1,5,6,7 Jörg Schullehner et al. Nitrate in drinking water and colorectal cancer risk: a nationwide population-based cohort study, International Journal of Cancer 23.02.18 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.31306 accessed 11.04.18
2,3 Steffan Messenger: Wales’ farm pollution action ‘absolutely useless’ BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43389895 accessed 28.04.18
4 Partnership For Environmental Education and Rural Health: Nitrates and their effect on water quality, Wheatley River Improvement Group http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/media/nitrates-and-their-effect-on-water-quality-a-quick-study/ accessed 30.04.18
6 Nitrate in drinking water increases the risk of colorectal cancer https://www.wateronline.com/doc/nitrate-in-drinking-water-increases-the-risk-of-colorectal-cancer-0001 13.02.18 accessed 11.04.18