Nitrate poisoning: symptoms and treatment

Symptoms of poisoning by nitrates

Nitrogen is an inert gas, which atmosphere contains up to 97%. But, it can accumulate in the soil and turn into nitrate, a toxic substance. Poisoning with nitrates can cause death. Intoxication is particularly dangerous for babies and for those who suffer from pathologies of the cardiovascular system.

As can be poisoned by nitrates

Nitrogen from the air through nitrogen-fixing bacteria accumulated in the root system of plants. In addition, toxic substances in small quantities can accumulate due to lightning strikes. But most of all nitrates formed in violation of the rules of farming when making large amounts of fertilizer such as potassium nitrate or potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate or ammonium nitrate.

Most often, nitrate poisoning occurs by eating crops. High risk of toxicity exists with the introduction in the diet:

  • cucumbers grown in greenhouses out of season;
  • greens and salads;
  • melons;
  • potatoes;
  • root.

Possible poisoning as a result of erroneous reception of nitric fertilizers inside. For example, potassium nitrate causes a fatal in the dose of 3.5 g

You can get poisoned drinking water that is contaminated with nitrates, trapped in her from the earth.

When ingested, nitrates are converted into nitrites which are more toxic compounds. So experts say the simultaneous intoxication by nitrates and nitrites.

Penetrating into the body, toxic nitrogen compounds disrupt the transport of oxygen by blood flow and tissue respiration. This provokes hypoxia and disorder of the internal organs, particularly affected the cardiovascular system. In addition, nitrates dilate the lumen of blood vessels, leading to hypotension and even more break the supply of oxygen to the body.

The clinical picture of intoxication with nitrogenous compounds

Symptoms of poisoning with nitrates can vary depending on how the toxic substance got into the body.

If the poison was ingested with plant foods, the first symptoms of intoxication appear after 4 hours.

The victim will be observed:

  • cyanosis of lips, mucous tissues and nails, this is due to the transition of hemoglobin to inactive methemoglobin form, which is not able to participate in transport of oxygen;
  • nausea, vomiting, gastralgia;
  • loose stools, in some cases, it becomes a «chocolate color» from the admixture of blood (this is one of the distinguishing symptoms of poisoning by nitrates);
  • pain in the right hypochondrium, yellowness of the sclera.
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In severe intoxication develops a disorder of the nervous system:

  • pain in the occipital region;
  • vertigo;
  • hypersomnia;
  • agitation;
  • violation of movement coordination;
  • spasms;
  • coma.

If the cause of the poisoning was the consumption of contaminated water, the early signs will occur after 60 minutes. While diarrhea, as a rule, is not observed.

If the body gets a small amount of poison, the growing subacute poisoning with nitrites and nitrates.

It is also characterized by a lack of oxygen, which manifests itself:

  • cyanosis of the skin;
  • dyspnoea;
  • tachycardia;
  • asthenia.

Poisoning by the nitrogenous compounds in children

A child can get lead poisoning by oral application of nitrogen fertilizers, preparation of adapted mixtures to contaminated water, when used for feeding nitrate of vegetable crops.

In children of poisoning by nitrates will have the following symptoms:

  • cyanosis of nasolabial triangle and the nail bed;
  • dyspnoea;
  • muscle weakness;
  • in severe oxygen deficiency – problems with coordination, spasm.

Dyspepsia, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea may not occur or not be pronounced.

Symptoms of intoxication can resemble a toxic inflammation of the lungs.

Measures for poisoning by nitrates

First aid

How soon will be provided with adequate first aid, depends what would be the forecast relating to the health and life of the victim.

During intoxication by nitrates is necessary to call an ambulance, especially if you experience the following symptoms:

  • disorders of the Central nervous system;
  • continuous vomiting and diarrhea;
  • appears a marked dyspnoea;
  • pressure drop.

Emergency hospitalization require patients to one year, pregnant, debilitated or elderly patients, and persons with abnormalities of the cardiovascular system.

Before the arrival of the ambulance, if the victim is conscious, it is necessary to wash out the stomach. For this purpose, give to drink several glasses of water and irritate the root of the tongue, pressing it with your finger or the handle of a spoon.

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Artificial vomiting not to cause the following categories of citizens:

  • children younger than 5 years;
  • pregnant women;
  • patients are unconscious.

It is desirable to give the victim any means of adsorption, for example, enterosgel, white coal, neosmectin. You can not try to stop vomiting, as it helps to remove nitrates from the body. After eliminating nausea can you give the victim strong tea with sugar and lemon.

To accelerate the elimination of toxic substances the patient is given plenty of fluids. It can be plain or mineral water, from which a pre-released gases, or means for oral rehydration.

Treatment and diet during intoxication with nitrates

If there is a poisoning with nitrates, treatment should first be directed to elimination of oxygen deficiency, the transition of methemoglobin in the active form and accelerate the excretion of the poison from the body. Shows the assignment of vitamin C, dextrose, and sodium thiosulfate. Enter intravenously. Carry oxygen therapy and symptomatic therapy.

The patients with digestive tract when you poisoning with nitrates shows a light diet. The diet need to enter:

  • cereals;
  • vegetable stew;
  • lean meat;
  • sauerkraut;
  • pickles.

It is recommended to drink green tea and kvass. After poisoning contraindicated alcohol, as they aggravate the symptoms of intoxication.

Chronic intoxication and the possible consequences

With regular exposure to nitrates on the body develops an oxygen deficiency and disorder in all tissues. Most of all suffers from hypoxia the embryo. In animal experiments have proven that nitrates can cause fetal malformations, miscarriages, and congenital anomalies.

In children with chronic oxygen deficiency causes delayed physical and mental development, excessive nervous excitability, disorders of the cardiovascular system, weakened immune system and frequent colds.

Prevention of poisoning by nitrogen compounds

The peak of poisoning by nitrate observed in the spring, when the store appear first greenhouse crops in mid-summer at the time of admission to the stalls of watermelons. To reduce the likelihood of intoxication by nitrates is necessary to observe some rules.

  1. Must use to drink only qualitative water, it is not only to filter, but boiled, as after the heat treatment the level of nitrates in her falling.
  2. Vegetables, fruits and berries to buy only in season, so as to obtain early crops, is likely to have used large amounts of nitrogen fertilizers.
  3. Gourds should buy only certified merchant. They can not be given to young children. Also from eating watermelons should refrain women pregnant and breastfeeding, since the toxins can penetrate through the placenta and into maternal milk.
  4. Not only minimizes the likelihood of intoxication, but soaking vegetables. We cannot allow the boiled root vegetables for a long time cooled down, as they can also accumulate nitrates.
  5. In fresh juices prolonged standing nitrates are converted into nitrites, so you need to drink them immediately.
  6. The greatest amount of nitrates deposited in the surface layers of vegetables and melons: watermelon peel and the flesh beneath it, and the cabbage – external leaves should be removed.
  7. It is necessary to observe norms of nitrogen fertilizer on the plot. You cannot make liquid manure for vegetable crops, as its liquid fraction by bacteria quickly nitrificants in the ground, resulting in vegetables accumulates a lot of nitrates. Liquid manure can be applied to the beds in autumn and after composting it with peat or straw.
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Compliance with these recommendations to reduce the risk of intoxication if she did come, we should not self-medicate, and you should immediately consult a doctor.