Uranium and radon in groundwater- An overview of the problem
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of the 6th EWRA International Conference on Water Resources., 2005, 1-17 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Radioactive elements occur naturally in our environment. A long-term exposure to the radioactive gasradon (222Rn) can lead to lung cancer. In Sweden, 500 cases of lung cancer are registered every year,due to inhalation of radon gas. The parent element of 222Rn is uranium (238U), which is found in soilsand bedrocks in varying concentrations. 238U is also radioactive but causes more harm due to its toxicity;kidney problems arise when uranium is ingested. In areas where municipal water is not available, wells aredrilled in bedrocks to extract water for drinking purposes and other uses. Groundwater from wells drilled inrocks rich in uranium (e.g. granite rocks) have shown tendency to have both high radon and uranium concentrations.However, the opposite is not always true; In Stockholm, concentrations of radon exceeding theSwedish regulatory limit of 1000 Bq/l have been observed in bedrocks containing low concentrations ofuranium (0-2 ppm). The uranium concentration in water is usually not routinely measured as an indicator ofwater quality despite its toxicity. A uranium concentration as high as 445 microg/l (WHO limit is 15 microg/l)was observed in one private well in Stockholm, The heterogeneous conditions in the subsurface (geochemistry,groundwater flow, geology and fracture system) make the development of a risk prediction model, that canbe applied at large scale, complex. This paper presents an overview of the problem of natural radioactivity inour drinking water.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. 1-17 p.
Radon, Uranium, Groundwater, Risk prediction.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8778DiVA: diva2:14202
6th EWRA international conference on water resources, Sharing a common vision of our water resources, 7-10 September 2005, Menton - France
QC 201012212005-11-112005-11-112012-02-14Bibliographically approved