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Thread: How much radiation contaminates your water?

  1. #1 How much radiation contaminates your water? 
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    According to this article
    http://www.kens5.com/home/How-safe-i...107033418.html
    hundreds of community water systems are contaminated with toxic alpha particles.
    One particular type of radiation that popped up again and again, in water provided by utilities all across Texas, was something called alpha radiation, which public health scientists say can be particularly problematic when consumed.

    “The alpha particle -- this is the 800-pound gorilla of radioactive particles,” said Dr. David Ozonoff, an environmental health professor and the chair emeritus of the Boston University School of Public Health.
    But it's not due to nuclear plant leakage or uranium mining operation, it's natural radiation.
    Most radioactive alpha particles end up in drinking water only after it is pumped up from groundwater wells in regions of the country with natural uranium, radium, or other radioactive deposits underground. In some cases, that are less common, radioactive elements do end up in surface water.
    This is something to keep in mind when you read scary stories of potential leakage of nuclear waste disposal at sites like Yucca Mountain after hundreds of thousands of years. Guess what. Lots of people are drinking the stuff right now. It sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?


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  3. #2  
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    I'm not too sure about "putting thins in perspective," since the concentrations and risk of such leaching into the water table isn't well known.

    Water contamination isn't all that uncommon though. Many artician wells in Southern Maine, where I'm from, exceed the state levels due to uranium deposits. Some abondon their wells because of this, some reconnect their unrelaible dug wells which are often harbon biological contaminents (my folks sititions), most just take the risk or go with some combination of drinking bottled water but using well for washing cloths etc (which I'm not sure is a whole lot safer). Many of those same houses also show radon in their basements.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Alpha radiation is everywhere. Our bodies, on average, contain about 1 part per million of uranium, some of which will decay emitting radiation.

    Granite can contain up to 20 ppm of uranium, and can be quite radioactive. Granite forms many of the hills and mountains we live amongst. Some people even build their homes of granite blocks. However, the human body has excellent tolerance of radiation up to more than 30 times the average natural background radiation.
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