Friday, November 30, 2007

Nitrates in drinking water in Philippines, Thailand

Thu Nov 22, 6:36 PM ET
Thousands of people in rural Thailand and the Philippines face serious health problems from drinking water contaminated with nitrates, a report by the environmental group Greenpeace said Thursday.

The study released in Bangkok and Manila said intensive agricultural practices and excessive use of nitrogen fertilisers had polluted artesian wells used for drinking water.

Greenpeace said it sampled water from 30 percent of all groundwater wells from both countries and found nitrate levels above the World Health Organisation's safety limit.
The report said contamination was greatest in those areas that used large quantities of nitrogen fertilisers.

It said the greatest risk of nitrate poisoning was "blue baby syndrome", which occurs in infants given nitrate-laden water, and particularly affects babies under four months. It can cause headaches, stupor, fatigue, coma, convulsions, asphyxia and even death, the report said.
Nitrate-contaminated drinking water can also potentially lead to cancers of the digestive tract and has been associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as well as bladder and ovarian cancer, it added.

"Communities think that the water they drink every day is clean because physically, it doesn't smell bad or look bad. But it is actually laced with nitrates from fertilisers which people don't normally associate with pollution," Greenpeace campaigner Daniel Ocampo said in a statement.

"This report shows that unless governments implement policies to ensure the proper use and application of fertilisers in agriculture, we will lose more of our valuable water resources.
Ocampo called for fertiliser subsidies to be phased out and reduced use of the chemicals.


Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Thanks again for posting this article. So where will they get their drinking water to avoid all these sickness? How about that bottled spring water? Is it safe to drink? If so, how about those poor people who cannot afford to buy for their daily need. Juanito, are you still in the business of bottled spring water?

ErnestoDR said...

Some time ago, you may have heard the news or read in the papers about foods which are not good for the body. Remember the
1. Green leafy vegies laden with formalin to preserve its freshness?
2. E-coli virus from spinach & other like vegies?
2. Hoof & mouth disease from pigs
3. Mad cow disease from cattles? (Were the livestock from down under affected by it?)
4. Bird flu from chickens & poultry products?
5. Mercury-laden fish & seafoods?
And now, nitrate-contaminated water?
Wala na ngang makain ang tao, wala pa rin iinumin!
Haaaay, Rollie, mga batchmates, mag beer na lang tayo!

C C ramirez said...

Ernie, your sense of humour is staggering I nearly had a seizure laughing. But however funny the topic may seem, the poignant fact is that it is real and is here,and the above list is not the latest nor the last of the bad news. Have you heard the latest data on air pollution - the air we breathe- and global warming and what harm they cause? And on it goes, ad infinitum.

Maybe we should all join you guys and get merry over a barrel of beer, while we still can, before they tell us what deadly things go in the brewing of beer.

ErnestoDR said...

If we have to worry about those things, there would be nowhere to go, nothing to eat, nothing to drink that would be safe.
Ah, why me worry!
Let's go San Miguel!

C C ramirez said...

If soldiers take this attitude of not worrying about the enemies' massive fire power and strategies, when the time for battle comes, they will be either sitting ducks for the enemies' bullets and fodders for the maggots, or running for political office. True soldiers size up, check out the enemies and meticulously plan their counter strategies and offensives. They do not surrender and accept defeat before the battle starts. What is the point of true soldiery-(not the mercenaries)- if there is no will to fight the enemies?

It is a truism, forewarned is forarmed.

While science may seem to focus on the problems, and worrying is definitely not going to solve them, surely we can do something to minimise if not altogether avoid the harmful effects such may have on us. Surely we can take positive, proactive steps to arm ourselves. Surely we can source out safer food and water or do something to make them safer for our consumption.

Dire though these info be, they are there to forewarn us. Let us be forearmed. Hopefully, we may have longer lives to enjoy our San Miguel beer, even our Tanduay rum.

ErnestoDR said...

There you go --- the military strategist and tactician! What you mentioned about battle conditions are true, but remember, Cora that in combat, retreat is not surrender! It is a time for recharging as in batteries, take rest and recreation to ward off combat fatigue, retrain, re-arm, and re-fit according to recent condition of terrain and enemy capabilities. The above info are but valuable intelligence info to fight another day. That is why the need to drink beer for a while!
Isa pa nga!!!

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Ernie papaano iyan hindi ako umiinom ng beer. So I think I have to start now. paunti-unti hanggang masanay. Oh tagay na. he he he. Let see in 2010 who will drink much.

neliaamparo said...

Ako eh,nagsawa na rin sa kawoworry,baka masira ang beauty ko,kaya gabi-gabi kahit nagiisa ako na nanunuod ng balita sa atin umiinom ako ng red wine habang nagkukukot ng nuts.nuong isang gabi inabot ako ng 0300 am sa panunuod ng live duon sa Peninsula Hotel.Nagala-ala kase ako na kapwa Pilipino ay magbabarilan.Peru kahit anong pagwoworry ang gawin natin wala rin naman tayong magawa.Kaya tama ka Ernie maginuman na lang tayo para sa kaunlaran.