Nitrites Nitrates

When we speak about the environment we speak about the sum of elements, factors, behaviors, and conditions that surround and include the human being.

It’s all about a black box where we know the entries, we discover the exits and we can only make assumptions about what happened in there.  For example we help our vegetables grow faster by adding fertilizers at the root.  This also helps us to get a rich harvest and make more money at a time. In the meanwhile we assist a strong decrease of life expectancy.  We have to fight with more and more forms of cancer, we have to look at our children and face the fact we’ve born mutants, and so on.

What happened in the black box?

Let’s analyze what happens with the nitrate, the most used natural fertilizer.  This is accumulated in the vegetable and leaves in very different levels of quantity, generated by the place, the soil type, if it’s sunny or shadowed place, etc. Do not forget that when it rains, these kinds of soils are practically washed away and the nitrates follow the groundwater and may affect all other crops from their way.

We go to the market, buy some vegetables, go home and make a salad. It should be healthy for us since we will accumulate many vitamins and this won’t affect our weight.  Together with our yummy salad we add to our own system a quantity of nitrates. This should not be a problem, we believe. Our organism has in its composition nitrates and it has the upper limit to 5 ml per each 1 kilo from our weight. The main problem here is that the nitrates eaten with the salad reach in the digestive tube are soon changed in nitrites (salt and nitric acid). Besides that, but related to, a harmful impact on the organism also has the secondary amines and nitrosamines.

All of these have as an effect the destruction of the hemoglobin from the blood, resulting in the forming of met hemoglobin.  The last one is very dangerous, especially for the kids where it provokes cyanosis; for young animals too. We also eat the meat of some animals that were fed with this kind of vegetables, so here is a second way to accumulate these substances.  

Some substances like nitrosamines and nitrosamines have a very toxic impact on the fetus and are some of the most feared factors for mutations and for cancers even at very young ages.  

So we are the masters, we harm the environment for our benefits and our actions turn to us a way or another, or both. Maybe we should think twice before acting. When an action seems to produce spectacular results with a minimum effort the short time effects may be the ones expected but usually the long term sound is a thousand times worse than the gain.