A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives connects nitrate levels in drinking water consumed by pregnant women with the occurrence of birth defects in their children.
Researchers examined the water sources and drinking habits of thousands of Iowa and Texas mothers. Women who consumed at least 5 milligrams of nitrate per day were more likely to have a baby born with spina bifida, cleft palate or lip, limb deficiencies or heart defects than mothers in a control group.
Sources of nitrates in drinking water include fertilizer runoff, sewage leaks, and erosion of deposits. Nitrate levels are monitored by the EPA.
To learn more about the correlation between nitrate levels and birth defects, click here.