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3.03 - Sources, Risks, and Mitigation of Radioactivity in Water

Elsevier B.V.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-444-53199-5.00051-8
  • Exposure
  • Gross Alpha
  • Gross Beta
  • Ingestion
  • Radiation
  • Radioactivity
  • Radionuclide
  • Radon
  • Radium
  • Risk
  • Tritium
  • Medicine


Radioactivity is arguably the most ubiquitous contaminant in drinking water, with radon alone posing a health risk higher than that of most other contaminants combined. The sources range from radionuclides in rocks to cosmic radiation, to nuclear power plants, and to operation and disposal of medical and research equipment. This chapter reviews current efforts to reduce the risk from radioactivity in water using examples from several countries, placing these efforts into a framework of sustainable water provision.

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