Radium in Your Water: What You Need to Know

Radium in Your Water: What You Need to Know

Radium in Your Water: What You Need to Know

A naturally occurring radioactive element found in the crust of the earth, radium is formed when uranium and thorium undergo radioactive decay. Since it is found in the earth’s crust, it is possible for small amounts of radium to also be found in groundwater. Understanding radium and how it can affect you is an important part of maintaining a healthy water system for your home.

Identifying Radium in Your Water

Unfortunately, radium does not have a taste, smell or special color to help identify when it is in water. Therefore, the only way to really know if radium is in your water is to have it specifically tested for radium. If your water comes from a deep bedrock aquifer, it is particularly important to have it tested because these water sources can sometimes contain levels that are well beyond the regulatory standard. While public water is regularly tested for radium, the same is not true with well water unless you specifically choose to have it tested. 

The Effects of Radium Consumption

If your water contains radium and you use it for drinking or cooking, a small portion of the radium is likely to be absorbed from the digestive tract. From here, it will be distributed throughout the rest of your body. While some of this will be excreted in urine, some is also likely to be deposited into your body’s tissues. This can cause the surrounding tissue to become damaged, which can then result in anemia, cataracts, fractured teeth and general depression of the immune system. Exposure to radium at high levels can lead to an increase in your risk for certain types of cancers, including bone, breast and liver cancer. 

If you want to be sure your water is free from radium, contact Pump Service Idaho today! We will be happy to test your water to ensure it is safe for you to use however you choose!

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