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EWG's Tap Water Database

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Radium-228

City of Fresno

Radium is a radioactive element that causes bone cancer and other cancers. It can occur naturally in groundwater, and oil and gas extraction activities such as hydraulic fracturing can elevate concentrations. Read More.

Radium releases radioactive particles that harm health in many ways, causing tumors in bone, lungs and other organs; leukemia; and skin and blood damage. Water utilities typically report radium amounts in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measure of radioactivity in water. The two most common forms of radium are radium-226 and radium-228. They may be reported separately or together.

Federal law allows up to 5 picocuries per liter of combined radium-226 and radium-228 in tap water. Research by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that in some regions of the country, such as the mid-continental region and North Atlantic coastal region, more than 20 percent of sampled wells have radium in levels exceeding the federal drinking water limit. And the legal limit does not equate safety: The EPA estimates that one in every 10,000 people drinking water containing radium at this level would develop cancer over a lifetime.

California set a public health goal much lower than the federal limit - 0.019 picocuries per liter of radium-226 and 0.05 picocuries per liter of radium-228, concentrations that are lower than the detection limit for most water tests.

Click here to read more on radiological contaminants.

 

96

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

0

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20100.15 pCi/L91ND - 1.35 pCi/L
20110.15 pCi/L213ND - 1.03 pCi/L
2012ND530ND
2013ND40ND
2014ND60ND
2015ND30ND

pCi/L = picocuries per liter.

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

Health Guideline 0.02 pCi/L

The health guideline of 0.02 pCi/L for radium-228 was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

pCi/L = picocuries per liter.

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2010-06-160010-693-1425ND
2010-06-160010-703-1340ND
2010-06-240010-704-0845ND
2010-07-260010-026-1030ND
2010-09-080010-697-12181.35 pCi/L
2010-11-040010-026-0910ND
2010-12-230010-153-0900ND
2010-12-230010-703-0830ND
2010-12-230010-704-0750ND
2011-01-250010-026-0840ND
2011-04-190010-026-1250ND
2011-08-180010-133-1005ND
2011-08-180010-073-12001.03 pCi/L
2011-08-180010-224-1120ND
2011-08-180010-087-1137ND
2011-08-180010-697-0830ND
2011-08-180010-693-1050ND
2011-08-190010-044-10251.01 pCi/L
2011-08-190010-685-09301.01 pCi/L
2011-08-190010-295-1000ND
2011-08-190010-187-1050ND
2011-10-120010-187-1355ND
2011-10-120010-044-1415ND
2011-10-130010-697-1030ND
2011-10-130010-693-1230ND
2011-10-130010-295-0810ND
2011-10-140010-087-0810ND
2011-10-140010-073-0750ND
2011-10-140010-224-0830ND
2011-10-140010-685-1100ND
2012-02-020010-685-1015ND
2012-02-020010-693-1030ND
2012-02-020010-697-0940ND
2012-02-020010-044-1330ND
2012-02-020010-295-0910ND
2012-02-020010-087-0730ND
2012-02-020010-073-0820ND
2012-02-020010-187-1305ND
2012-02-020010-224-0800ND
2012-03-120010-714-1400ND
2012-03-130010-573-1400ND
2012-03-130010-167-1012ND
2012-03-130010-616-1045ND
2012-03-130010-626-1135ND
2012-03-130010-572-1345ND
2012-03-130010-344-1310ND
2012-03-130010-214-1150ND
2012-03-130010-014-1210ND
2012-03-130010-607-1410ND
2012-03-130010-188-1200ND
2012-03-130010-215-1310ND
2012-03-130010-341-1338ND
2012-03-130010-266-1227ND
2012-03-130010-268-1440ND
2012-03-130010-391-1250ND
2012-03-130010-386-1354ND
2012-03-130010-050-1240ND
2012-03-130010-053-1220ND
2012-03-130010-277-1115ND
2012-03-140010-328-1046ND
2012-03-140010-347-0948ND
2012-03-140010-335-1256ND
2012-03-140010-081-0838ND
2012-03-140010-644-1025ND
2012-03-150010-242-1025ND
2012-03-150010-182-1155ND
2012-03-150010-163-0930ND
2012-03-150010-131-0830ND
2012-03-150010-313-0805ND
2012-03-150010-232-0910ND
2012-03-150010-305-1055ND
2012-03-150010-363-1300ND
2012-03-150010-398-0840ND
2012-03-160010-262-1120ND
2012-03-190010-695-1415ND
2012-03-290010-089-1215ND
2012-05-030010-626-0905ND
2012-05-160010-287-1200ND
2012-06-180010-226-1330ND
2012-07-030010-250-1315ND
2012-07-190010-710-1430ND
2012-09-100010-714-1100ND
2012-10-240010-290-1430ND
2013-02-010010-721-1330ND
2013-05-230010-710-0945ND
2013-06-110010-624-0945ND
2013-06-240010-280-1000ND
2014-01-020010-063-1330ND
2014-05-200010-192-1400ND
2014-06-240010-192-1300ND
2014-09-090010-721-1115ND
2014-11-190010-120-1300ND
2014-12-310010-643-1340ND
2015-02-180010-223-1045ND
2015-06-160010-728-1350ND
2015-08-180010-210-0820ND