Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

U.S. EPA Proposals for Regulating Radon in Drinking Water Indoor Air

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

U.S. EPA Proposals for Regulating Radon in Drinking Water Indoor Air

Article excerpt

Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It can be found all over the United States. Nearly one out of 15 homes are estimated to have elevated radon levels. The indoor air of houses is the primary exposure pathway for radon and the main public-health risk, contributing to about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.

The other important exposure pathway is direct ingestion of radon in water. From a report by the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) estimates that radon in drinking water causes about 168 cancer deaths per year, 89 percent from lung cancer caused by radon released from water, and 11 percent from stomach cancer.

U.S. EPA has proposed new regulations that would reduce exposure to radon in households by having water systems reduce radon in drinking-water supplies. The U.S. EPA Radon Rule relies heavily on the state or the local water system to develop a program for reducing radon exposure through a multimedia mitigation program (MMM). The core of the program will encourage households to test for radon and then to mitigate radon in the indoor air if necessary. …

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