Study Finds Unsafe Levels of Uranium in American Public Water Systems

by | Apr 15, 2022 | Headline News | 7 comments

This article was originally published by Mary Villareal at Natural News. 

Public water systems serving 290 million people in the United States per year were found to have high concentrations of uranium, a radioactive chemical that occurs naturally in soil, rock, and water.

Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that 63.1 percent of community water systems (CWS) compliance monitoring records showed detectable concentrations of uranium and that 2.1 percent of CWSs with available uranium data had 2000-11 average concentrations above the maximum contaminant levels.

“Despite relatively frequent detections and relatively high concentrations compared with other metals in our study, uranium has been underappreciated in the literature as a public drinking water contaminant of concern,” the researchers said.

The study, which aimed to estimate metal concentrations among CWS across the country, identified sociodemographic subgroups serviced by CWS that reported high levels of metal concentration and characterized metal mixture profiles in CWSs nationwide.

For the study, the researchers looked at six-year review records of metals such as uranium, arsenic, antimony, beryllium, barium, thallium, mercury, selenium, chromium, and cadmium that have been compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The review also checked whether the average concentrations of these metals exceeded the standards set by the EPA, with the research team going through 13 million records from 139,000 public water systems that serve 290 million people per year.

The study pointed out that uranium is an important risk factor for the development of chronic diseases, even at low concentrations. Previous studies have already associated exposure to uranium with medical conditions, such as lung cancer, kidney damage, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

Uranium itself becomes part of water by leaching from rocks and soil. It is also released by processing plants, which push the element into the water. Prolonged exposure to uranium can lead to toxic effects, such as the inflammation of the kidneys and changes in the composition of urine.

Moreover, it is also capable of decaying into other radioactive substances like radon, which causes cancer among those who have been exposed to it for too long. When contaminated, drinking water can also result in the deformity of bones and the liver.

Geographic water systems in the southwest and central midwest regions

Geographically, the highest concentrations of uranium were found in the Southwest and Central Midwest regions, with high-uranium systems likely to be serving semi-urban and predominantly Hispanic communities. The researchers say this likely represents ongoing regulatory failures to protect the marginalized communities and ensure safe drinking water for them.

Research also found that there are high levels of other contaminants such as lead, which is more likely to affect neighborhoods with higher poverty rates.

The consistent association between high metal concentrations in CWS services among semi-urban, Hispanic communities is also an indication that disparities in concentrations are due to the failure of regulatory policies than geology. Hispanic and Latino populations tend to show increased mortality due to cardiovascular, kidney, liver disease and diabetes.

Anne Nigra, one of the authors of the study, said additional regulatory policies, compliance enforcement and improved infrastructure are necessary to reduce such disparities in CWS metal concentrations served by public water systems with elevated metal concentrations.

Uranium poisoning also tends to affect those who work in industries that use or collect uranium, such as certain kinds of mining. However, little is known about the possible threats posed by uranium in drinking water.

Previous research suggested that about four percent of private wells in the U.S. similarly contain higher-than-allowed levels of uranium, but nationwide estimates of uranium contamination in public drinking water systems, which provide water to 90 percent of the country were found first by the Columbia research.

“Such interventions and policies should specifically protect the most highly exposed communities to advance environmental justice and protect public health,” said Nigra.

Follow Pollution.news for more stories about toxic chemicals and elements in the U.S. water system.

Watch the video below for more information about uranium in water and how this could affect the health of people who consume it.

 

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    Comments

    7 Comments

    1. Alex

      Bs..if uranium naturally grows into the water then it would have been discovered long long long ago!! Do you think the stuff being sprayed from airplanes which have been proven to be all types of metals lithium aluminum burrium etc coal ash dust graphen oxide even has been known to drop rabbis packets from helicopters etc and only God knows what else is being dropped mite have effects on whats in our drinkn water let alone prescription medication blood urine cremation liquefied dead body’s that are done by over 25 states and counting fat poison aka fluoride the list Goes on and on chemtrails! Geoengineeringwatch.org proof of some of what I claim do your own research trust not me trust no man! Oh I forgot motor oil sludge antifreeze yum yum all sounds safe to drink! Now the new one is this article and sneak venom!cv19! Wow list gets bigger and bigger by the studys!

    2. Anonymous

      Wonder how many actual health problems this causes?

    3. Kryptonite?

      This must mean that not
      even Uranium can kill the
      beast known as covid since
      they allegedly found covid
      in…..

    4. Darth Skippy

      “Marginalized communities” were built on top of a valuable mineral.

    5. Genius

      My town has an extremely high amount of arsenic. However we are on a local well. I have never had our water tested and we have a filter that takes out arsenic. Or maybe not as advertised? Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me lol 😛

    6. Darth Skippy

      Water seems to have occurred through geological processes, later resulting in oil discoveries, in the areas most highly settled and most prone to social decay. All of the gases, radio-isotopes, etc, are signatures of what lies underneath.

    7. Waterguy

      I’m in the water utility business. One interesting thing about the analysis of test results is this- there is a Minimum Detection Limit for almost every analyte, meaning the lab can detect it if there’s at least “x amount” in the water sample being tested. Below that, there could be a trace, but it’s so small they can’t tell. So on the lab report that you or I would write “Zero Uranium” using common sense, the lab is required to write “Not Detected”. In the eyes of people seeking to pursue an agenda, they interpret this as “Not Zero”, meaning to scare you into thinking there is uranium in the water and death is imminent. Usually it’s overhyped in pursuit of policies & funding like everything the gov’t does. It should not shock anyone that there is a high percentage of Hispanic people in states like New Mexico Arizona etc.

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