Nitrates are heavy oxidants. They are undesirable substances, harmful for human health. The ingestion of a large quantity can cause gastric problems, hives and rashes and other reactions or illnesses.
They are used as chemical fertilizers in intensive agriculture. Other sources of nitrates include septic tank leakage, livestock manure, and erosion of natural deposits.
These tasteless, colorless and odorless nitrates get absorbed by plant roots,
but their excessive use pollutes water tables and aquifers and eventually contaminates our bottled water.
The maximum level recommended for babies and pregnant women is
of the maximum contaminant level (MCL)
recommended for adults.