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Hard Rock Renovating for Sports Betting, Cancer Causing Nitrates in Iowa Drinking Water, 5:04

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State regulators today approved wagering on college and professional sports at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City and Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort in Larchwood.

Without discussion, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved projects requested by the Hard Rock and Grand Falls Casinos.

Work is set to begin Monday on the Hard Rock project that will convert 400 square feet of existing casino space into a sportsbook. 

A nationwide study shows Iowans are at an increased risk of health effects from nitrate exposure. Researchers from the Environmental Working Group and Duke University estimate as many as 12,000 cancer cases each year nationwide may be linked to nitrates in drinking water. In Iowa, the substance fertilizer and manure runoff are primary contributors to nitrate pollution.

Alexis Temkin is one of the authors of the paper, published in the journal Environmental Research.

“So we tried to look at the rates and saw that states like California and Iowa had some of the higher rates, where we know that there is a lot of agricultural practices and definitely many communities that can be affected by elevated nitrate levels.”

The current federal limit on nitrates in drinking water is 10 parts per million. But recent studies suggest the risk of certain cancers and birth defects increases even at lower levels.

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