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Nitrates and Nitrites

This ODH factsheet answers many common questions about nitrates and nitrites, including:

  • What are nitrates and nitrites and how do they get into the environment?

  • How do nitrates and nitrites get into my body?

  • Can I get sick from nitrates and nitrites?

  • Do nitrates and nitrites cause cancer?

  • Can a test show if I have nitrates and nitrites in my body?

  • Where can I get more information?


Local health departments are encouraged to print these factsheets for distribution in the event of a public health incident involving nitrates and nitrites.


This factsheet may be updated periodically as new scientific information becomes available or as regulations change. You can find the date of the most recent updates to this factsheet inside the PDF.