Study shows compounds in well water linked to birth defects - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Study shows compounds in well water linked to birth defects

Source: MGN Source: MGN
(KXXV) -

A study by Texas A&M shows that three common compounds found in private wells and agricultural areas may cause birth defects.

The compounds are atrazine, nitrate, arsenic.

Jean D. Brender, R.N., Ph.D., professor emeritus at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, has spent years studying the effects chemicals in water can have on developing fetuses.

“We know what’s in our public water supply, but many people are on private wells for their drinking water, and those wells aren’t routinely tested,” Brender said.

Her work and other studies have shown that women who drink primarily from these private sources, especially in rural areas, may be most at risk.

Atrazine is commonly used to grow corn, and it can then leech into the soil and then into drinking water sources. Arsenic is also a problem in drinking water in Texas, even in municipal systems, but that may be due to naturally occurring sources in the bedrock, rather than agricultural use.

“People who live in rural areas and who use private wells need to have their well water tested, particularly if they are thinking about becoming pregnant,” she said. “If testing shows the water does exceed acceptable limits for any of these chemicals, they would want to use an alternative source of water.”

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