Water is life. It is one of the essentials that support human life. Therefore, we need to consume it in its safest form. However, contaminants find their way into our water supplies, including radiation.
Radiation can get into the water when it comes into contact with radiative materials. Actually, traces of radioactivity, although small, exist in almost all drinking water.
But it doesn’t raise much concern as radiation emanating from pollutants. I did a quick research on How to remove radiation from water, and here’s what I come out with.
How to Remove Radiation From Water
Have you been wondering how to remove radiation from water? Well, there are a couple of methods involved. Radiological contamination in water is wanting, and that’s why these methods need to get implemented. Here is the information we have:
Reverse osmosis is one of the methods that the EPA recommends for dealing with radioactive contamination in water and other contaminants such as fluoride, chloramine, and chlorine. This is a proven method for handling different types of radioactive particles. Reverse osmosis works best for radium, uranium, alpha and beta particles, and photon emitters. The method removes up to 99% of these radionuclides. It also removes other contaminants, making it quite effective.
Usually, this method works by pushing water through materials that have tiny pores. Only water is expected to emerge on the other side. That’s why this method remains the most effective.
Additionally, you can rely on ion-exchange to eliminate radioactive particles from drinking water. Normally, the process utilized in water softeners to eliminate contaminants through a process of ionizing. Particularly, this method is recommended for eliminating Cesium-137. However, this contaminant has only been found in rainwater in the United States as opposed to drinking water.
Activated carbon can also be used for purification of radioactive water. Some scientists have applied this method to remove iodine-131 from the liquid fuel found in nuclear solution reactors. Generally, this purification method works by absorbing the contaminants to address the issue. However, this method is not so efficient because there is a point where it reaches a load capacity, and it cannot absorb other contaminants.
Graphene is a honeycomb-like mesh of carbon. It has many uses because of its incredible attributes. It’s good at removing radiation from water. New technology has been developed to make water filter using graphene which has been shown to reduce radiation exposure.
Combining the three methods
Scientists have also figured that combining reverse osmosis, activated carbon, and ion-exchange, makes a very effective purification method. This method increases the chances of capturing all the radioactive particles in the water, making it very safe for consumption.
What is radioactivity?
The increased production of radioactive contaminants such as gas and oil has also increased the concentration of radioactive materials. Consequently, people are looking for ways to purify radioactive materials, especially those that affect the water. Irradiated water is unhealthy for drinking. Therefore, if the water in your area has some traces of radiation, purification measures need to come into play. If you’re wondering how to remove radiation from water, read on to find out about the most effective procedures.
Radioactivity is a form of energy that is released through the decay of the nucleus of an unstable atom through the process of ionizing. Throughout our lives, we are exposed to a lot of radiation, beginning with the sun. However, when most people hear about radioactivity, they start to think about nuclear energy and things such as X-rays.
But, radioactivity extends beyond that. You can also find radioactive elements in the soil, such as on various kinds of rocks. Further, there is something known as radioactive decay or ionizing radiation. The main focus on radioactive decay is on alpha, beta, and gamma rays. However, there are other forms of emissions.
Of the three types, alpha particles are most mild. They’re harmless unless you ingest them. On the other hand, beta radiation can penetrate living tissues, and it can trigger involuntary mutations in DNA. There is also gamma radiation, which is known to bring about damage at the cellular level.
What about radioactive water
Due to an increase in some activities, radioactive emissions have skyrocketed. As a result, it is very easy to find radioactive isotopes present in drinking water supplies; but, at low levels. That shouldn’t raise much concern unless the levels are higher than expected.
So, how does radioactive water come about? Well, some types of rocks have radioactive elements occurring naturally. These elements are known as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM). When your source of drinking water comes into contact with such rocks, radionuclides will accumulate in the water.
The most common radionuclides that are found in water include uranium, thorium, and radium and their decay products. Unfortunately, you cannot know if your drinking water has radionuclides. Tests have to be done to confirm that. That’s why water supplies within municipalities are tested regularly to establish the level of radioactive substances if present.
Is radioactive water safe?
Recently, cases of cancer have been on the rise. As a result, people have moved to take the necessary measures to ensure that anything they consume is clear of radionuclides, including water. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set limits for optimum contamination levels for alpha and beta particles. They have also set maximum limits for uranium and uranium. Despite setting these limits, they have not determined the number of radioactive elements in water that’s safe. So, you can consider zero radioactive pollution as the safest.
People need to drink safe water, and that’s why there are some purification methods in place to handle this problem. Scientists also test water that’s meant for drinking to ensure that it’s safe. Nevertheless, bottled water is considered safe for consumption. Also, if your water is radioactive, don’t think that boiling it will get rid of the radioactive particles. You should rely on proven purification methods.
Radioactivity is not only present in nuclear energy and X-rays but also in water. Irradiated water is unsafe for consumption, especially if the radiation levels are high. Fortunately, there are effective methods to remove radiation from water so that it is safe for drinking. The most effective methods for purification of radioactive water include active carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion-exchange. Boiling your water is not an option. It will only kill some germs, but the radiation will remain.