Radium contamination in water most widespread in Texas, environmental group says

More than half of Americans could be drinking tap water tainted with a radioactive element. A new report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds more than 170 million people are exposed to radium in their drinking water. That could increase the risk of cancer.

When Dennis Taylor moved with his wife and two kids back to her hometown of Brady, Texas, he quickly found out many there don’t drink the city water, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

"I think I tried to drink out of tcancerhe tap water and it was like, woah woah woah, no we don’t drink out of the tap water," Taylor said. But it was only recently that he learned that water has unacceptably high levels of a radioactive substance: radium, a contaminant that occurs naturally in the ground and winds up in aquifers.

The city’s radium levels violate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) maximum allowable levels. The reason it’s of concern? Radium is a known carcinogen. "It has been associated with increases in bone cancer. So exposure to radium… even low levels, may increase the risk of cancer development," said Alexis Temkin, toxicologist with the EWG. EWG […]

Radium and radioactivity in public water supplies:

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Penn State study: Spraying brine from drilling, fracking on roadways is hazardous

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Oil and gas wastewater radioactivity persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

170 Million Americans Drink Radioactive Tap Water

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Radium contamination in water most widespread in Texas
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Radium contamination in water most widespread in Texas
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The Texas city's radium levels violate the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) maximum allowable levels. The reason it's of concern? Radium is a known carcinogen. "It has been associated with increases in bone cancer. So exposure to radium... even low levels, may increase the risk of cancer development.
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CBS NEWS
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