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Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminant Exposure: Radionuclides

Naturally occurring and man-made radioactive elements undergo radioactive decay in a series of transformations. Energy is emitted during each step of this decay process, which occur as quickly as seconds or as long as many years, until the last step when a stable isotope of lead is created. Particles and rays are given off during the decay process, some in the form of "ionizing radiation." Ionizing radiation can cause adverse human-health effects. There are several naturally occurring and man-made sources of ionizing radiation that are potential water contaminants and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently updated the drinking water standards for selected radionuclides.

The U.S. Geological Survey conducts occurrence, geochemical, and other studies on radionuclides as water contaminants as well as their use for environmental tracer or age-dating tools.

In Drinking Water:

Occurrence and Geochemistry of Selected Radionuclides

Other Sources of USGS Information on Radionuclides:

 

 
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Topics:
Air, Dust, and Soil contaminants and Pathogens
Drinking Water Contaminants
Consumption of Bioaccumulative Contaminants
Vector Borne and Zoonotic (animal to human) Disease
Contact With Recreational Waters
Animal Sentinels of Human Health

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Page Last Modified: 27-Jul-2010@14:20