Expectant parents spend many hours getting their homes ready for their little bundles of joy. They prepare the nursery, spend time cleaning and sterilizing, and move any toxic chemicals to safe places where their little one can't reach when they start crawling practically overnight. But what about potential toxic chemicals in the water supply?
If you are expecting a baby, it's crucial to have the water tested. Here are just several health risks of contaminated water.
Blue Baby Syndrome
Blue baby syndrome is a condition in which the baby's skin turns blue due to a decreased amount of hemoglobin in their blood. The most common cause of this is due to nitrates in drinking water. When nitrate-rich water is used to make formula, babies can easily develop blue baby syndrome because the nitrates convert into nitrites, which bind to the red blood cells (hemoglobin) and prevents the red blood cells from carrying oxygen.
Studies show that people who are exposed to dichlorophenol are more likely to develop food allergies later in life. In fact, 90% of food allergies have been linked to exposure to dichlorophenol. This chemical is used in the agricultural industry when formulating chemical pesticides. Therefore, if you have well water and live near a farm, your home's water supply may be contaminated with dichlorophenol. However, it can also be found in city water supplies because the chemical is a byproduct of the chlorine that is used by water treatment plants when disinfecting their water supplies.
You've likely heard about the potential for lead poisoning due to lead-containing paint in the home. But did you know that lead can be found in your drinking water as well? According to WebMD, as many as 20% of lead poisoning cases in childhood are caused by drinking water that is contaminated with lead. Plumbing in older homes can have lead, but that doesn't mean your water is safe if you have a newer home. Sometimes, lead solder is used during construction to join copper pipes, which means the water is directly exposed to lead.
Lead poisoning symptoms include behavior changes, abdominal pain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and many other symptoms that may appear to be colic or simply a grumpy baby. Pediatricians routinely recommend that their patients' parents have their homes tested for lead, including the water supplies.
In conclusion, have your water tested and take the test results to the pediatrician who will be caring for your baby. The pediatrician will be able to help you determine if any contaminants will need to be removed from your water supply for the health of your newborn. Contact a clinic, like Port City Pediatrics, for more help.