Did you know…

…nitrates are a natural component of soil and part of the nitrogen cycle. When plants die, nitrates are released into the soil and serve as food for the synthesis of proteins and other nitrogen compounds?
….that nitrates are heavy oxidants?
…human activity can disrupt the nitrogen cycle balance through intensive use of nitrate-loaded fertilisers in agriculture?
…that nitrates in chemical fertiliser, septic tank outflow, organic matter and erosion of natural deposits can end up in bottled mineral water by leaking into the water table or aquifers?
…and that when this colourless and flavourless compound comes into contact with the stomach’s natural flora a more toxic composite – nitrites – may develop?
…that the World Health Organisation has identified links between high levels of nitrates (NO3) in drinking water and potentially serious health issues?

House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee  was satisfied that water companies were doing enough to prevent ill effects of excess nitrates to humans by investing substantial sums in water treatment and blending plants. However the committee believed that costs would continue to rise for water companies if nitrate (and other chemical) pollution from agricultural sources continue to go unchecked. There was concern that health impacts of nitrates may become an issue in the future, or that water companies would have to pass the rising cost of treatment onto consumers. 

In many European countries, legislation requires bottled water brands to clearly state nitrate levels on the label.

The maximum level recommended for babies and pregnant women is 10 mg/L, which is 20%  of the maximum contaminant level (MCL*) recommended for adults.