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EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE

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Radium, combined (-226 & -228)

Baton Rouge Water Company

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.

 

186

Samples

0

Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)

36

Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

 
YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
2012N/A00N/A
2013N/A00N/A
2014N/A00N/A
20150.03 pCi/L342ND - 0.47 pCi/L
20160.17 pCi/L7614ND - 1.58 pCi/L
20170.22 pCi/L7620ND - 1.52 pCi/L

pCi/L = picocuries per liter

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EWG Health Guideline 0.05 pCi/L

EWG applied the health guideline of 0.05 pCi/L, defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal for radium-226, to radium-226 and radium-228 combined. This health guideline protects against cancer.

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 5 pCi/L

The legal limit for combined radium-226 and radium-228, established in 1976, was based on costs for radium removal, as calculated at the time that the standard was set. This limit does not fully protect against the risk of cancer due to radium exposure.

pCi/L = picocuries per liter

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2015-07-0635196455004ND
2015-07-0635196455005ND
2015-07-0635196455004ND
2015-07-0635196455005ND
2015-08-0335200997001ND
2015-08-0335200997002ND
2015-08-0335200997003ND
2015-08-0335200997004ND
2015-08-0335200997005ND
2015-08-0335200997001ND
2015-08-0335200997002ND
2015-08-0335200997003ND
2015-08-0335200997004ND
2015-08-0335200997005ND
2015-08-1735203438001ND
2015-08-1735203438002ND
2015-08-1735203438001ND
2015-08-1735203438002ND
2015-11-0235215110001ND
2015-11-0235215110002ND
2015-11-02352151100030.47 pCi/L
2015-11-0235215110001ND
2015-11-0235215110002ND
2015-11-02352151100030.47 pCi/L
2015-11-3035219066001ND
2015-11-3035219066002ND
2015-11-3035219066003ND
2015-11-3035219066004ND
2015-11-3035219066005ND
2015-11-3035219066001ND
2015-11-3035219066002ND
2015-11-3035219066003ND
2015-11-3035219066004ND
2015-11-3035219066005ND
2016-01-1235225030004ND
2016-01-1235225030005ND
2016-01-1235225030004ND
2016-01-1235225030005ND
2016-01-2535227129001ND
2016-01-2535227129002ND
2016-01-2535227129003ND
2016-01-2535227129004ND
2016-01-25352271290050.86 pCi/L
2016-01-2535227129001ND
2016-01-2535227129002ND
2016-01-2535227129003ND
2016-01-2535227129004ND
2016-01-25352271290050.86 pCi/L
2016-02-2935232145001ND
2016-02-2935232145002ND
2016-02-2935232145003ND
2016-02-2935232145001ND
2016-02-2935232145002ND
2016-02-2935232145003ND
2016-04-1135239236001ND
2016-04-1135239236002ND
2016-04-1135239236003ND
2016-04-11352392360040.30 pCi/L
2016-04-1135239236001ND
2016-04-1135239236002ND
2016-04-1135239236003ND
2016-04-11352392360040.30 pCi/L
2016-04-2035240674001ND
2016-04-2035240674002ND
2016-04-2035240674001ND
2016-04-2035240674002ND
2016-04-2735241963001ND
2016-04-27352419630021.58 pCi/L
2016-04-2735241963003ND
2016-04-2735241963004ND
2016-04-2735241963005ND
2016-04-2735241963001ND
2016-04-27352419630021.58 pCi/L
2016-04-2735241963003ND
2016-04-2735241963004ND
2016-04-2735241963005ND
2016-05-0335243244001ND
2016-05-0335243244002ND
2016-05-0335243244003ND
2016-05-03352432440041.12 pCi/L
2016-05-0335243244005ND
2016-05-0335243244001ND
2016-05-0335243244002ND
2016-05-0335243244003ND
2016-05-03352432440041.12 pCi/L
2016-05-0335243244005ND
2016-05-2335246272001ND
2016-05-2335246272002ND
2016-05-2335246272003ND
2016-05-2335246272004ND
2016-05-2335246272005ND
2016-05-2335246272001ND
2016-05-2335246272002ND
2016-05-2335246272003ND
2016-05-2335246272004ND
2016-05-2335246272005ND
2016-06-08352490020010.97 pCi/L
2016-06-0835249002002ND
2016-06-08352490020031.09 pCi/L
2016-06-08352490020010.97 pCi/L
2016-06-0835249002002ND
2016-06-08352490020031.09 pCi/L
2016-06-1535250200001ND
2016-06-1535250200002ND
2016-06-1535250200003ND
2016-06-1535250200001ND
2016-06-1535250200002ND
2016-06-1535250200003ND
2016-09-14352658900050.46 pCi/L
2016-09-14352658900050.46 pCi/L
2017-01-1735289852001ND
2017-01-1735289852002ND
2017-01-1735289852003ND
2017-01-1735289852004ND
2017-01-1735289852005ND
2017-01-1735289852001ND
2017-01-1735289852002ND
2017-01-1735289852003ND
2017-01-1735289852004ND
2017-01-1735289852005ND
2017-01-1935290610001ND
2017-01-1935290610001ND
2017-04-2435308489001ND
2017-04-24353084890020.18 pCi/L
2017-04-2435308489003ND
2017-04-2435308489001ND
2017-04-24353084890020.18 pCi/L
2017-04-2435308489003ND
2017-05-1535312720001ND
2017-05-1535312720002ND
2017-05-1535312720003ND
2017-05-1535312720004ND
2017-05-1535312720005ND
2017-05-1535312720001ND
2017-05-1535312720002ND
2017-05-1535312720003ND
2017-05-1535312720004ND
2017-05-1535312720005ND
2017-05-23353143740010.90 pCi/L
2017-05-2335314374002ND
2017-05-23353143740030.94 pCi/L
2017-05-23353143740040.78 pCi/L
2017-05-2335314374005ND
2017-05-23353143740010.90 pCi/L
2017-05-2335314374002ND
2017-05-23353143740030.94 pCi/L
2017-05-23353143740040.78 pCi/L
2017-05-2335314374005ND
2017-06-0535316773001ND
2017-06-0535316773002ND
2017-06-05353167730030.71 pCi/L
2017-06-0535316773001ND
2017-06-0535316773002ND
2017-06-05353167730030.71 pCi/L
2017-06-1935319736004ND
2017-06-1935319736005ND
2017-06-1935319736004ND
2017-06-1935319736005ND
2017-06-2735321021001ND
2017-06-27353210210020.66 pCi/L
2017-06-2735321021003ND
2017-06-2735321021004ND
2017-06-27353210210051.52 pCi/L
2017-06-2735321021001ND
2017-06-27353210210020.66 pCi/L
2017-06-2735321021003ND
2017-06-2735321021004ND
2017-06-27353210210051.52 pCi/L
2017-07-1835325014001ND
2017-07-18353250140020.61 pCi/L
2017-07-1835325014003ND
2017-07-18353250140040.92 pCi/L
2017-07-1835325014001ND
2017-07-18353250140020.61 pCi/L
2017-07-1835325014003ND
2017-07-18353250140040.92 pCi/L
2017-07-2535326516001ND
2017-07-2535326516005ND
2017-07-2535326516001ND
2017-07-2535326516005ND
2017-08-0235328338001ND
2017-08-0235328338001ND
2017-11-28353600360011.03 pCi/L
2017-11-28353600360011.03 pCi/L
2017-12-0535361478001ND
2017-12-0535361478001ND