Most drinking water sources have very low levels of radioactive contaminants ("radionuclides"), most of which are naturally occurring, although contamination of drinking water sources from human-made nuclear materials can also occur. Most radioactive contaminants are at levels that are low enough to not be considered a public health concern.
Radium is a radioactive element that is relatively stable and decays into Radon Gas. During the decay process it emits alpha particles (which are helium nuclei). These alpha particles are emitted at high energy and can cause damage to molecules in the body such as DNA.
Some people who drink water containing radium 226 or radium 228 in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
MCL ADVISORY - ACTION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Combined radium levels were detected in your water sample to exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL).
ACTION IS OPTIONAL
Combined radium levels were detected in your water sample but do not exceed the maximum contaminant level.
- USEPA - Water: Basic Information about Regulated Drinking Water Contaminants - Basic Information about Radionuclides in Drinking Water
- ATSDR - Toxic Substances Portal - Radium
- ATSDR ToxFAQs Fact Sheet - Radium
- Water Systems Council - wellcare® information for you about Radium & Groundwater