What is it about?

Contamination of drinking water by agricultural runoff is an increasing problem globally. There is a lack of information about how these common contaminants effect fetal brain development. This study proves that drinking water containing high levels of nitrates and total dissolved salts causes changes in brain development in a mouse model.

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Why is it important?

This study has important public health implications as many women globally have no choice but to drink water contaminated with high levels of nitrates and total dissolved salts during pregnancy. This publication will be the first of a series articulating how these contaminants alter brain development and the development of other organs. These studies are critical for informing public health decisions about water access programs and the usage of agricultural chemicals.


We all know that babies are our hope for the future - and healthy babies and healthy families need healthy drinking water. Clean drinking water is only becoming more scarce due to climate change. So unless we pay more attention to how this vital resources is being contaminated, we are putting into jeopardy the future of our children, even before they are born.

Lab head - Perinatal Brain Injury Lab Bobbi Fleiss
RMIT University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Agricultural groundwater with high nitrates and dissolved salts given to pregnant mice alters brain development in the offspring, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, November 2021, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112635.
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