I had never heard of Blue Baby Syndrome until my good friend Harry shared an article with me this morning.
Blue baby syndrome is an environmentally-caused children’s health issue. Blue baby syndrome, or methemoglobinemia, is an illness that arises when an infant’s blood is unable to carry enough oxygen to body cells and tissue. It is caused by a rise in the level of methemoglobin in the blood. Methemoglobin is a non-oxygen-carrying enzyme that is continually produced in the body. It is converted to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying enzyme in the blood, by a red blood cell enzyme called methemoglobin reductase. Because infants under that age of six months have little methemoglobin reductase in their systems, an excess of methemoglobin, or methemoglobinemia, can be fatal if left untreated.
Excessive nitrates in drinking water can adversely affect children’s health, sometimes causing blue baby syndrome. When ingested, these nitrates are converted to nitrite in the digestive system; these nitrites react with the hemoglobin in the blood, forming high amounts of methemoglobin. Since methemoglobin cannot carry oxygen, if enough too much of the enzyme is in the blood, the infant’s tissue and organs may be deprived of oxygen. This will cause him or her to develop a bluish coloring and possibly result in long-term digestive and respiratory problems.
This syndrome occurs mostly in babies six months or younger, but it can also be found in older children and adults. In cases of adults or older children, affected blood can easily return back to normal due to healthy levels of methemoglobin reductase in the blood; however, in the case of infants, this conversion can take much longer or sometimes not at all, resulting in development of serious health problems or possibly death if left continually untreated.
Read more about Blue Baby Syndrome here
Water testing and filtering home tap water is the best way to insure you and your loved ones are drinking safe, healthy life essential water. We cannot seem to stop the contaminants from getting into our water, so we should do everything we can to remove what we can. A quality home drinking water filter should be in every home.