Nitrate Information



Other Names

Nitrate Ion

Chemical Formula


CAS Number

14797 – 55 – 8

Industry Uses

Fertilizers; Preservatives;

Health Risks

Dermal Burns; Blue-Baby Syndrome; Death

What is Nitrate?

Nitrate is the most completely oxidized form of nitrogen. It is formed during the final stages of biological decomposition, either in wastewater treatment facilities or in natural water supplies. Nitrate contamination can occur from runoff from fertilizers, leaking from septic tanks, sewage, and erosion of natural deposits.

Nitrate Exposure and Health Risks

Contact with nitrate can cause irritation and burns to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Nitrate in drinking water can be very dangerous for infants below the age of six months. Symptoms of nitrite poisoning include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. If left untreated, the baby could die.


The table below summarizes the most-recent standards.




 10 mg/L

 National Primary Drinking Water – Max Contaminant Level


Sources: EPA

Measuring Nitrate

Dissolved Nitrate concentration in water can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). We carry instrumental kits from CHEMetrics that determine nitrate levels in water. We carry kits that measure nitrate levels ranging from 0-1.5 ppm to 0-2,700 ppm. All of our nitrate products can be viewed HERE.

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