How Does Radon Get Into Your Drinking Water?

How Does Radon Get Into Your Drinking Water?

Radon is a healthcare issue few know about. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer and a big cause of cancer for people who have never smoked. People mostly assume radon gas comes up from the ground and enters the home when they hear about it. But that’s not the only way radon can affect you. It can also mix with the water you drink, cook with, and bathe in. But how does radon get into your drinking water and how can you prevent it?

Radon Invasion

Colorless, tasteless, and odor-free, radon can sneak into your home, and you’d never even know it. As mentioned, radon mostly enters the home through gas. Uranium is present in many soils, mostly in small amounts. As it breaks down it rises through the ground, often through cracks in the foundation, and into the home. There, it accumulates and, over many years, becomes concentrated, entering the lungs of the home’s residents. However, you can keep radon gas at bay with concrete basement sealers, fans, and similar devices. Although, water can be trickier to deal with.

Water With a Side of Radon?

So, how does radon get into the water? Much like the carbon dioxide in carbonated drinks, radon rises through water and inundates it with gas. Some of the radon dissolves in the water and escapes when the water evaporates. Unsurprisingly, radon only affects water found underground. You’re unlikely to find radon in water on the surface. Lakes, ponds, rivers, and other bodies of water naturally expel any radon gas into the atmosphere. However, your well water—if you have one—may be carrying radon into your home, expelling it into the air where it can accumulate over years.

Breathing and Drinking

Which is worse, drinking or breathing radon? Neither is good for you, but while taking radon into your body via drinking water can possibly lead to health issues, it’s not as big a deal as breathing it in. As stated, bringing up radon-saturated water from the ground almost automatically releases the radon into the air when you boil it or take a hot shower or bath.

Stop the Radon Raid

What steps can you take to prevent radon from entering your drinking water? Have your water source tested if you depend on a well. You can set up a filtration system that uses granular activated carbon (GAC) filters to filter the radon from the water before it reaches your faucets and home if the inspection reveals high levels of radon. Filter disposal is another issue, of course, since the concentration of radon can lead to a level of radioactivity. Still, it’s better to have a filter than to allow radon gas into your house.

We’ve addressed the question, “How does radon get into your drinking water?” Contact us today if you have other questions about fighting radon in your home! We look forward to hearing from you.