Members of the Iowa Public Health Association are invited to register for this webinar presentation by Dr. Peter Weyer, IPHA member and Interim Director of the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination at the University of Iowa.
Iowa’s source water quality has been the subject of much debate over the past two years. This has been driven in part by the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against three counties upstream on the Raccoon River related to nitrate loading of the River from agricultural fields.
While much discussion has taken place on the cause of the nitrate pollution and options to address the problem, the only public health concern discussed has been methemoglobinemia, or blue-baby syndrome. However, blue-baby syndrome has not been diagnosed in Iowa since the 1970s. There has been no discussion of other possible adverse health effects from exposure to nitrate in drinking water.
Dr. Peter Weyer, IPHA member and Interim Director of the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination at the University of Iowa will present results of almost 15 years of Iowa-based research on drinking water nitrate and risk for cancer and birth defects. Results from health effects studies of Iowa populations exposed to atrazine and water disinfection byproducts will also be presented. Emerging drinking water contaminants including arsenic, pharmaceutical compounds and neonicotinoids insecticides will be discussed, as will recreational water exposures to harmful algal blooms, particularly microcystin.
Then Ann Robinson, IPHA member and Agriculture Policy Specialist with the Iowa Environmental Council will present an overview “Nitrate in Drinking Water: A Public Health Concern For All Iowans.” This report, published by the Iowa Environmental Council in September, reviews some of the most concerning research findings on nitrate pollution and health and focuses on adverse health outcomes that multiple studies conducted here in Iowa and abroad have associated with nitrate from drinking water.
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