There is a lot of information about radon causing lung cancer when we breathe it in. But there isn't as much information about radon in water. Because radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, it also stands to reason that there is also radon in our water. So how do we know if we are consuming water containing radon? And are there health risks related to this?
Is there radon in my water?
First, it is important to note that not all drinking water contains radon. If it is coming from a surface source (river, lake, reservoir), most radon will have already been released into the air before it reaches your home. If your water comes from an underground source, like a well, it can become more of a concern.
Why is radon in my drinking water a health concern?
When you breathe in radon gas from indoor air, it can be a cause of lung cancer. When we drink it, it can present a small risk of developing internal organ cancers - primarily stomach. However, this the risk of this is MUCH smaller than the risk of developing lung cancer from breathing in radon. Breathing radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US - causing 20,000 deaths per year. The EPA estimates that around 18 deaths per year are from stomach cancer caused by drinking radon contaminated water.
If your water has a small amount of radon, it will generally be released into the air before you drink it. But remember that air gets trapped in your home and you breathe it in. That is why if there is a radon problem, you should install a radon mitigation system.
There are ways to test for radon gas in your water if you use a well, but by far, the biggest health risk that radon presents to you, is through breathing it in. Make sure to test your home for radon gas and eliminate the risk of contracting lung cancer. Fill out the form on this page to request your free test today.