In most cases, people expose themselves to Radon in two ways. One is through internal air; you have non-efficient ventilation and high uranium content in rocks near your house, the chances of increased concentration of Radon rise. Secondly, you can be exposed to higher Radon concentrations due to its presence in drinking water.
We all are familiar with the health hazards of getting exposed to Radon. The exposure to Radon is higher in places that are closer to the ground, rocky areas, and construction sites. Because Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you won’t be able to identify it until it starts affecting your health badly. Radon alters DNA and also heavily affects the lungs leading it to cancer. In fact, Radon is the second foremost root of lung cancer worldwide, whereas smoking is ranked at first.
Before you become a part of stats, testing is the only way out to find the presence of Radon in your homes and in water. In order to protect yourself and your family, it is a must that you conduct a test for Radon in water before you consume it on a regular basis.
Continue reading the article to see how to test for Radon in water and how it gets in there in the first place.
How does Radon get in air and water?
When the soil underneath the house has high uranium content, it disintegrates with time and releases Radon which can seep into the home through cracks and pipe spaces. It can be avoided by applying preventive measures.
On the other hand, Radon can also seep into the water through underground water resources. There are many areas around the world that still use water wells, and the risk of Radon is higher in those areas. With time, it can accumulate in water and cause problems.
When the Radon-infused water is used for drinking, cleaning, and showering purposes, the Radon gas escapes from the water and escapes into the atmosphere. In this way, it increases the concentration in the indoor air as well. Some Radon content may also remain in the water.
Radon is not a risk in open water resources such as lakes, streams, and rivers. Since the water is already in an open place, the Radon escapes into the atmosphere before it even gets to your house.
Health concerns of radon-infused water
Radon gets in your lungs through the air we breathe and, in some cases, the water we drink. With time, it accumulates in the lungs and gets trapped. When the Radon particles break down further in our lungs, small bursts of energy are released that can alter the DNA of our lungs and increase the chances of lung cancer dramatically.
Because most of the particles present in water escape into the atmosphere, there is a lesser risk from drinking water than there is from the air. The lesser concentration that still remains in the water, however, can still damage your internal organs, particularly the stomach.
Over the course of a few years, if we keep drinking water that has Radon in it, it can cause stomach tissue damage and may cause stomach cancer.
A report by the National Academy of Science says that according to the EPA, consuming water with Radon leads to about 168 cancer deaths per year. In these 168 cases, 89% of the deaths are caused by lung cancer due to breathing Radon that escapes from water into the air. The remaining 11% of deaths are caused by stomach cancer that is a direct result of drinking water with Radon particles in it.
Testing water for Radon
Radon in enclosed air is more dangerous than Radon in drinking water, so it is recommended that you first test for radon in your home. All rooms located below the third floor of a building must be tested for Radon, and if the concentration is greater than four pCi/L, strict actions must be taken to reduce the amount.
If your indoor air test states that there indeed is Radon present, then you should also get your water tested.
If your water comes from an open source, there is less risk. However, if you get your water from groundwater resources, then the risk is higher. Ask your water system provider for a Radon test and ask for a Customer Confidence Report.
The results of the radon test
When you get a radon test, the first thing you need to check is how much the water is contributing to the radon concentration. For every 10,000 pCi/L found in your water, subtract 1 pCi/L from your air radon result. For example, if the total radon concentration of your indoor air is around 40,000 pCi/L, then 4 pCi/L may have come from water.
In this way, check if most of the Radon comes from your water or not. If this is not the case, then you may need to retest your indoor air for other causes such as insufficient ventilation.
However, if most Radon is coming from water, then you need to get a special water treatment system. The water treatment system can effectively reduce the amount of Radon in water. Install the water treatment system only when you have got the results showing the presence of radon in water.
The recommended level for drinking water is 300 pCi/L to 10,000 pCi/L, but there is no standard concentration. Check with your local authorities to certify that the water is safe according to the standards of your area.
Water is a basic necessity of life; no matter your age, you consume it to eliminate your thirst and to survive. But a lot of people take it for granted and not once do a test to determine its quality. Let’s get it tested before it makes you one of the people having lung cancer. Read this article through and find out the related information to test for Radon in water and how it works.