August 26, 2022 3 min read
The concentration of radioactive contaminants in drinking water today alarmingly exceeds the stipulated federal and state standards. These radiological contaminants, also referred to as radionuclides, include radium, uranium, and radon.
Many of the radionuclides detected in drinking water occur naturally. Radioactive radium and uranium occur naturally in minimal amounts in rocks and soil and can easily dissolve in water sources.
Higher levels of uranium are likely to occur in drilled wells where water comes from cracks or fractures in bedrock compared to surface water sources and shallow wells. Radon, a gaseous form of decayed uranium, can also naturally exist in groundwater.
Health effects of drinking radioactive water
Decayed radionuclides emit three kinds of radioactive particles: alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays, each harmful to human health. Long-term water consumption contaminated by relatively high levels of these radioactive particles may cause severe health complications.
Once you drink radioactive water or eat food cleaned with it, the radioactive particles circulate through the body, damaging your organs. These particles ionize and destabilize the body's atoms, causing irreversible damage to cells and chromosomes.
This ionization and destabilization process may encourage unnatural cell production or kill the cells entirely. Health complications like cancer, kidney disease, cataracts, osteoporosis, liver disease, bone growth, anemia, and compromised immune system result from excessive radionuclide consumption.
How to remove radiological particles from water
It is possible to filter radioactive water to eliminate different types of radionuclides following the processes below:
Reverse osmosis (RO) can be an effective technology for purifying radioactive water, eliminating up to 99% of the radiological particles.
Automated and compact, RO systems are considered adequate, with the only shortcoming being that they cannot capture gaseous radioactive particles found in water, including iodine-131.
However, reverse osmosis systems can be costly and very difficult to install. They are prone to leaking.
Often preferred in the nuclear industry, anion exchange, also known as ion exchange, is particularly effective at eliminating radioactive elements like cesium-137. This process uses sodium ions as they readily exchange with radioisotopes. Activated carbon is also applicable in absorbing contaminants through ion exchange. Seychelle filters use both ion exchange and activated carbon to effectively remove radiological contaminants.
Protect your family from radioactive water
The health effects of consuming water contaminated by radiological contaminants range from different types of cancer to osteoporosis. Many water sources across North America contain radiological contaminants, often at unsafe levels.
The Seychelle radiological filter is a radiological particle filter tested to remove radiological contaminants like gross beta, alpha radium 226, cesium 137 & 134, uranium, and radon 222(4). It eliminates up to 99.99% of aesthetic contaminants like taste and odors, chemical contaminants like PFOA, PFOS, pesticides and herbicides, and inorganic contaminants like heavy metals.
Protecting your family from ingesting radioactive water and the health effects involved is easier with the Seychelle Radiological Filter. Professionals design it for use at home, on the go, and in an emergency. The Seychelle Radiological Bundle ensures removal of radiological contaminants for daily use and for emergency situations, such as in the wake of a no-notice nuclear event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is radioactive water?
A: Radioactive water is water contaminated by radiological contaminants from nuclear power plants, nuclear events, or naturally ocurring radiological material in rocks and soil. Radiological materials include uranium, radium, and radon.
Q: How do radionuclides get into my water?
A: The potential contaminants of drinking water either occur naturally or are a byproduct of human waste. Naturally occurring radionuclides get into water sources through erosion of soil or rock formations.
Human activities like the disposal of hazardous waste and weapon production facilities increase the possibility of naturally occurring radionuclides contaminating drinking water.
Q: How do I test my water for radionuclides?
A: Various techniques and specific radiation detecting equipment like the Geiger-Mueller counter are required to test for radioactive contaminants on an industrial scale. Cheaper methods like thin layer chromatography are better for home use.
The Associated Press. Uranium contaminates water in the West. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/uranium-contaminates-drinking-water-in-us-west/
Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services. Is there uranium in my drinking water? https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/is-there-uranium-in-my-drinking-water.aspx
Water Quality Association. Uranium in Drinking Water. https://wqa.org/learn-about-water/common-contaminants/uranium
Verdict Media Limited. Radioactive Water – The Fukushima Fallout. https://www.water-technology.net/features/feature121661/#:~:text=Activated%20carbon%20is%20also%20employed%20to%20absorb%20contaminants
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Radiation Basics. https://www.epa.gov/radiation/radiation-basics#:~:text=Some%20beta%20particles%20are%20capable,damage%20to%20tissue%20and%20DNA.