Uranium in drinking water may be harmful to your health. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that safe drinking water should contain less than 30 parts per billion (ppb) uranium. If your source of household water is a private well, cistern, or spring, you are responsible for your drinking water quality. Private well owners are encouraged to monitor uranium through water testing.
Uranium is a radioactive element that can be naturally present in some rocks and groundwater. Levels of uranium above 30 ppb have not been found in shallow wells or surface water. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry report (1995), drinking from a uranium-contaminated water supply is the most likely exposure route. Skin contact is not considered harmful to health.
Studies suggest that drinking water with uranium levels above 30 ppb may increase the risk of kidney malfunction. Exposure to uranium in drinking water has not been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer. However, you should not continue to drink water with excessive levels of uranium.
This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your physician if you have any questions or concerns about the potential health effects of consuming water containing uranium.
NOTE: Elevated concentrations of uranium in well water often indicate high levels of radon in the air. It is recommended that well owners with elevated uranium levels also test their homes for radon gas. To test air in your home, you can obtain a radon test kit from Everclean by contacting us.