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Uranium in Water: What You Need to Know

October 26, 2022 5 min read

Uranium in Water: What You Need to Know

Most of us don't think twice about turning on the tap and taking a sip of water. It's something we've been doing since we were babies, and it's such a natural part of our everyday lives that we don't even think about it. But what if I told you that the water running out of your tap right now could be harming your health? 

 

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but unfortunately, it's all too real. There are radiological contaminants, specifically uranium, in our tap water, and they can have some pretty serious health effects. In this blog post, we'll be taking a closer look at why these contaminants are in our water, how they affect our health, and what we can do to protect ourselves. 

 

What are Radiological Contaminants? 

Radiological contaminants are elements that emit radiation. They can be naturally occurring or manmade. Uranium, for example, is a naturally occurring element that can be found in soil, rocks, and water. It can also be found in some manufactured products, like ceramic pots and phosphate fertilizers. 

 

How Uranium Gets into Our Water  

There are two main ways uranium can get into our water: through natural sources and human activity. Natural sources include things like the erosion of rocks and minerals, which can release uranium into groundwater. Human activity, on the other hand, usually refers to things like mining or the use of nuclear weapons, which can also contaminate groundwater with uranium. When uranium is mined, milled, or used in nuclear fuel reprocessing, it can become airborne and end up in our water supply through a process called leaching. 

 

Leaching occurs when water seeps through contaminated soil or rock and dissolves uranium and other pollutants into the groundwater. Once leached into groundwater, uranium can contaminate wells used for drinking water. Surface water sources can also become contaminated with uranium if there is runoff from uranium mines or mills or if leaking disposal sites allow contaminants to enter surface waters. 

 

Regardless of how it gets there, once uranium is in our water supply, it can be difficult to remove. That's because most common methods of filtering water, like reverse osmosis or activated carbon filters, aren't very effective at removing uranium. As a result, people who drink contaminated water are at risk of exposure to harmful radiation levels. 

 

Health Effects of Drinking Radioactive Water  

So, what exactly are the health effects of drinking radioactive water? Unfortunately, we still don't know a lot because uranium is one of the most understudied and under-regulated contaminants in our water supply. However, we know that exposure to high radiation levels can increase your risk of developing cancer and kidney damage. Additionally, studies have shown that pregnant women who drink contaminated water are more likely to give birth to babies with congenital disabilities or developmental problems. 

 

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself  

Given the lack of regulation around uranium in our water supply, it's up to us as individuals to take steps to protect ourselves and our families. If you're concerned about radiological contamination in your water supply, the best thing you can do is use a water filter that is tested to remove up to 99% of radiological contaminants. Once you know what contaminants are present in your water, you can work with a qualified treatment specialist to find a filtration system that will remove them. 

 

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Exposure to Uranium? 

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to this contaminant: 

 

  • Install a whole-house filtration system that is certified to remove contaminants like uranium from your water supply;  
  • Have your well water regularly tested for uranium and other contaminants;  
  • If you live near a uranium mine or mill, avoid using groundwater from nearby wells for drinking or cooking;  
  • Support policies and regulations that protect our groundwater resources from contamination. 
  • Avoid using hot tap water for cooking or drinking. 
  • Contact your local water utility to ask about the levels of radiological contaminants in your water supply. 
  • Follow the recommendations of your local water utility for safe water use. 

FAQs 

Q: How prevalent are radiological contaminants in our water?

Although there is no federal regulation of radiological contaminants in drinking water, a study by the Environmental Working Group found that uranium was present in the tap water of more than 170 million Americans. The study also found that other radiological contaminants, such as radium and thorium, were present in the tap water of more than 50 million Americans. Despite the widespread presence of these contaminants in our water supply, there is very little research on their health effects. 

 

Q: How do radiological contaminants get in my water? 

Radiological contaminants can enter water supplies through various sources, including agricultural and industrial activities. The most common source of radiological contamination in drinking water in the United States is naturally occurring uranium in the ground. 

 

Q: How can I reduce my exposure to radiological contaminants in water? 

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to radiological contaminants in water: 

 

  1. You can install a water filter that is certified to remove radiological contaminants. 
  2. You can avoid using hot tap water for cooking or drinking if unfiltered. Hot water is more likely to contain higher levels of radiological contaminants than cold water. 
  3. You can contact your local water utility to ask about the levels of radiological contaminants in your water supply. 

Q: What is the best way to remove uranium from my drinking water? 

The best way to remove uranium from your drinking water is to use a water filter that has been designed and third-party tested for removal of uranium. These systems are designed to remove visible and invisible contaminants from your water supply, ensuring that your family has access to clean, safe water at all times. 

 

Wrapping Up

Even if you're not living near a nuclear power plant, there is still a good chance that your drinking water has some level of uranium in it. It's important to be aware of this and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of radiation. One way to do this is by investing in a Seychelle Radiological Filter, which has been independently lab-tested to remove depleted uranium and other radiological contaminants from drinking water. These filters are an easy and affordable way to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe from radiation poisoning. Make an appointment with us today to have your water tested.

 

Works Cited 

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/emergencies/contamination.htm 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC359425/ 

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/uranium-contaminates-drinking-water-in-us-west/ 

 

https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/170-million-americans-drink-radioactive-tap-water 

 

https://www.epa.gov/radtown/natural-radionuclides-private-wells 

 

https://www.epa.gov/radtown/natural-radionuclides-public-drinking-water