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Drinking Water Advisory For Infants In Mount Brydges

Armen Hareyan's picture

Drinking Water Advisory

Middlesex-London Health Unit has issued a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory relating to the consumption of Mount Brydges municipal water by infants under the age of 6 months.

Water in the municipal system will occasionally have nitrate levels that will slightly exceed the acceptable level of 10 mg/L (10 miligrams per litre) through the summer. Recent testing of the drinking water system in Mount Brydges indicates that these slightly elevated levels will only occur during periods of high demand.

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"This situation raises a very small concern only for infants under the age of 6 months," says Jim Reffle, Director of Environmental Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. "There is no concern for anyone else."

When infants under the age of 6 months consume very high levels of nitrates, they may develop a condition called "Blue Baby Syndrome". This condition occurs because nitrates make the baby's red blood cells less effective at carrying oxygen.

It is very unlikely that this syndrome would develop at the slightly increased nitrate level that will occur in the Mount Brydges water system. However, as a precaution, parents are advised NOT to feed infants under the age of 6 months any water from the Mount Brydges system, or to use Mount Brydges water to prepare infant formula or juices. Breast milk is not affected by the increase in nitrates and is safe for babies.

Residents are advised to use another safe source of water for infants under 6 months of age. This may include bottled water for drinking and mixing infant formula or juices, or alternatively, using premixed infant formula. Bottled water used to prepare formula, should be boiled prior to mixing. Mineral water should not be given to infants.

It is important to note that boiling Mount Brydges water will not lower the nitrate level, therefore boiled Mount Brydges water should also not be given to infants under the age of 6 months. The municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc will be providing bottled water for families with infants under the age of 6 months.