Long Island is facing a water pollution crisis. Nitrate pollution in our water is very likely due to overuse of fertilizers and sub-par wastewater treatment. If you live on Long Island, this problem will affect you.
Drinking water is a big concern. Most of Long Island's drinking water comes from underground reservoirs, not rivers, which makes our water source much more susceptible to pollution from fertilizers and septic systems. Too much nitrate in drinking water poses issues for the human body, making it harder for the blood to carry oxygen. This is extremely dangerous for infants, but can also cause issues for adults.
Toxic algae that are fueled by excess nitrogen in the water can also affect people. Some studies have linked cyanobacteria that grow in nitrogen-polluted water to different health risks, from allergic symptoms to nausea and other bowel-related problems. Eating shellfish from waters that have been tainted can also cause disease. Other areas with nitrogen-polluted water have reported more serious health problems, even death, caused by cyanobacteria. No one on Long Island has died yet from cyanobacteria, but the problem does exist here, as a dog's death in East Hampton is said to have been caused by cyanobacteria. It is actually commonly acknowledged that dogs can and will die from swimming or playing in fresh water areas that have become toxic due to cyanobacteria growing in the water.
Even if you won't be directly affected, this issue could be very problematic for your neighbors, your town, your job, your children, or your pets.
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