Radioactivity Concerns in Drinking Water
Multi-Pure Addresses Radioactivity Concerns in Drinking Water as a Result of Damage to the Fukushima
Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.
Andrew Fenwick, PhD, Vice President of Technical Services, Multi-Pure International suggests these resources
for concerned customers:
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
– Radionuclides (i.e. sources of radioactivity) in Air and Water:
– Radionuclides in Water: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/radionuclides.cfm
How will radionuclides be removed from my drinking water?
According to the EPA, the following treatment method(s) have proven to be effective in removing radionuclides at levels below their MCLs:
* Beta particle and Photon Radiation: ion exchange and reverse osmosis;
* (Gross) Alpha Emitters: reverse osmosis;
* Radium 226 and Radium 228 (Combined): ion exchange, reverse osmosis, lime softening;
* Uranium: Ion exchange, reverse osmosis, lime softening, coagulation/filtration.
Dr. Fenwick has also released this statement:
“Radioactivity (its sources, the decay process, transmission, protection, and disposal) is an unquestionably complex topic.
The information provided here is admittedly, and necessarily, very general. The largest concern in drinking water after a meltdown is likely the presence of Uranium, although there are many additional sources (Plutonium, Radium, Cesium, etc.). We do not specifically test for the reduction of these materials, nor are there NSF standards/ protocols. With that said, heavier radionuclides, like those listed above, are likely reduced with our blocks, specifically those blocks that are certified for lead reduction.
“Three important notes: 1. As always, efficacy and lifetime will depend on several factors (compounds’ unique properties, concentration in the influent water, water chemistry, etc.). 2. In addition to those listed above, several other “daughter” nuclides/ radionuclides (products of the decay process) of various chemistries/ classes will have various reduction efficacies. Commenting on these is not possible. 3. Unlike other non-radioactive contaminants (Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, VOCs, other organics), removal from the water, and thus concentration in the block, may not be sufficient for the radioactive elements/ compounds. They continue to emit radiation even when removed/ immobilized. Based on these issues, and the EPA testing and “endorsement,” reverse osmosis is a more bona fide technology in this case.”
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