Contaminated Drinking Water and Infant Health

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The article contains a research that seeks to establish the effects of contaminated water on pregnant women and probable effects on the fetus. Further, the research proposes the protective measures that the pregnant mothers of New Jersey can use to ensure that they are free from the effects of the contaminated waters. In this regard, the following research questions can be designed from the articles;

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What effects does contaminated water have on the health of an unborn baby?

How does the intake on of contaminated water during pregnancy affect the move between births?

Are less educated mothers from poor backgrounds affected more than educated ones from rich upbringings?

What measures can the pregnant mothers of New Jersey employ to ensure that they are safe from the contaminated water?

The aforementioned research questions are very important in ensuring that the research has particular questions that it seeks to answer. In this case, the research will not be amorphous but based on a particular idea that it will be focused on. Specifically, these research questions provide the direction of the research. By stimulating the questions, the research will be able to know the target group of the research as well as the subject matter of the research.

The research questions are however difficult to answer. Firstly, it is difficult to conclude that the intake of contaminated drinking water is the responsible for the weight loss of the children. This is because the weight loss might have resulted from other factors such as smoking, and lack of balanced diet. Further, the level of the contamination cannot be correctly quantified. As such, the water might be slightly contaminated or extremely contaminated. It is for those reasons that answering those questions becomes a daunting task.

The authors of this article have, however, attempted to answer the questions. In this regard, they have conducted a research and relied on several pieces of literature. Specifically, they have used many writings on the effects of contaminated drinking water on the health of infants. According to the literature used, the short window that the fetus has makes him/her vulnerable to the effects of the contaminations. According to curie (2011),

The authors relied on four sources of data; the NJ birth certificates, the drinking water violation records, the statistics on temperature and precipitation and the maps of drinking water service area in NJ. They studied the statistic and used variables to compare the data. Observable differences between the mothers living in contaminated areas and other was made.

From the data, 37% of the mothers living in contaminated areas were seen to move between births. Additionally, less educated mothers are likely to be more affected, as they do not move during births. Further, the exposure to chemicals in the drinking water is likely to increase the probability of low birth weight by over 6%. Moreover, African American mother are likely to be more affected by contaminated water than the Caucasian American mothers.

The results of this research have several implications on health policy. First, it implies that policies should be formulated to the effect that pregnant mothers should move from the contaminate waters during their months of pregnancy. Secondly, les educated mother should be educated on how they can prevent their children from the effects of contaminated drinking water as they are the most vulnerable. This therefore, gives the policy makers some work to do to ensure that the effects of drinking contaminated water are averted.


Currie, J., Graff Zivin, J., Meckel, K., Neidell, M., & Schlenker, W. (2013). Something in the water: Contaminated drinking water and infant health. Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'economique, 46(3), 791-810.

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