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November 27, 2014

Health Canada posts Canadian Drinking Water Quality Technical Guidelines for Nitrate and Nitrite

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Health Canada posted online, October 15, 2014, Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality - Guideline Technical Document: Nitrate and Nitrite (dated June 2013). The October 2014 guideline:

  • reviews and assesses all identified health risks associated with nitrate and nitrite in drinking water;
  • evaluates new studies and approaches; and
  • takes into consideration the availability of appropriate treatment technology in order to propose maximum acceptable concentrations (MACs) that are protective of human health and achievable by both municipal and residential scale treatment technologies.

Based on its review, Health Canada has set a drinking water guideline for nitrate at a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 45 mg/L (equivalent to 10 mg/L nitrate-nitrogen).

Other topics addressed in the guideline include major uses and sources; environmental fate; treatment technology; and consumer products (nitrate and nitrite exposure has been reported to occur from certain medications and volatile nitrite inhalants).


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