Radionuclides In Your Drinking Water

The EPA regulates the levels of radionuclides in our water supply in order to protect is form the harmful health effects they can create. The levels created by the EPA are designed to keep us protected from these health threats and keep our drinking water safe.

What Are Radionuclides?

A radionuclide is an atom which has an instable nucleus. In order for the nucleus to become more stable it emits energy. This form of energy is called ionizing radiation as it creates ions that displace the electrons in the human body, otherwise known as our DNA and disrupts its function. 80% of our total exposure to radioactivity is naturally occurring while the other 20% is from man-made sources such as x-rays or CT scans.

The naturally occurring source of this exposure comes from radon gas that emanates from the rocks and soil and from cosmic radiation from space. Our drinking water contains radiation from natural sources and sometimes from releases from nuclear plants or laboratories.

Radionuclides are used in a variety of applications such as nuclear medicine that is used for diagnostic reasons or research. They are used for treatments to shrink cancer cells, to enhance machinery to see more clearly during imaging and is also used for generating electrical power.

What Are The Health Effects Of Radionuclides?

Studies have shown that some people who consume levels of radionuclides in excess of the MCL over a long period of time have an increased risk of cancer. There are also studies that show an increased risk of kidney issues.   To understand more about the health risks of radionuclides check out the information found at Purity bay El Paso.

If levels of radionuclides exceed the EPA standards set forth the water suppliers are ordered to notify customers within 30 days of finding the contamination. An alternate source of water will be supplied until the contamination is handled.

If you have a private well you are responsible for having a company such as Purity bay come out and test the quality of your water to ensure it is safe. If you find that levels exceed the MCL you will be responsible for the treatment of that water source.

Source: http://water.epa.gov/

 

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