+
Indoor
Outdoor
+
Outdoor
Indoor
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page
Page Archive

Get Informed | Gross Alpha

What is Gross Alpha?

During radioactive decay of radionuclides, energy is emitted in the form of ionizing radiation. One form of ionizing radiation is alpha particles and the other two are known as beta particles and gamma rays. Gross alpha is the total amount of energy that is released from naturally-occurring radionuclides and some of the heaviest radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium, radium, lead, radon, and polonium as they breakdown or decay. Alpha particles are positively charged and made up of two protons and two neutrons; these particles are emitted from materials classified as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM).

NORM can be associated with oil/gas development, landfills, brine water, oil field brines, some igneous and metamorphic rock, sedimentary rock weathered from igneous/metamorphic rock, and even some limestone deposits.

Note: There is an interesting USGS publication on Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) and Oil/Gas Brines and production water. (Source) Natural earthen building materials such as concrete blocks, granite, gypsum, and limestone can be a source of alpha particle exposure. (See page on Radon) It should be noted, however, that most rock does not have significant amounts of NORM. Common rocks which are most likely to have significant amounts of NORM are granite, black shale, and limestone with phosphate minerals.

How Does Gross Alpha Become a problem?

"Ionizing radiation can affect the atoms in living things, so it poses a health risk by damaging tissue and DNA in genes. Ionizing radiation comes from x-ray machines, cosmic particles from outer space, and radioactive elements. Radioactive elements emit ionizing radiation as their atoms undergo radioactive decay." (Source)

The alpha particles are larger and more massive than beta particles, but lack the ability to penetrate the outermost layer of dead skin cells; the alpha particles have to hit living tissue to do damage. Therefore, exposure via skin contact is not an issue, but if the alpha particle is generated within the body where it can immediately contact living cells, it can cause damage to the human body by causing damage on the DNA and cellular level. This type of energy is actually absorbed by the closest cells rather than just passing through the cell. Beta particles and gamma radiation have much greater penetration power and may pass through some cells without damage until their energy is finally absorbed by and damage caused to some unlucky cell deeper within the body. For more information on Radiological Contamination and Half-life.

What are the Health Risks for Gross Alpha?

The primary route of exposure is via inhalation or ingestion. Exposure to alpha radiation has been associated with lung cancer, bone cancer, and brain cancer. "Other effects of alpha emitters which have been reported include gastrointestinal, skin, and liver tumors, leukemia, liver cirrhosis, and chromosomal abnormalities, but these require further study before their risks can be adequately described." (Source)

What are the Standards for Gross Alpha?

The EPA MCL level is 15 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), but the MCLG is zero and the EPA confirms alpha emitters are confirmed carcinogens. The laboratory test for gross alpha excludes the radiation associated with radon and uranium, both of which also emit alpha radiation.

"pCi/l= picocuries per liter, the most popular method of reporting radon levels. For those interested in the numbers, a picocurie is 0.000,000,000,001 (one-trillionth) of a Curie, an international measurement unit of radioactivity." (Source)

A curie was originally defined as the number of disintegrations per second of a gram of radium-226, 3.7 x 10¹⁰.  Note that it says nothing about what type of radiation is produced by the decay nor what the energy of the radiation is.  Nevertheless, if you are anywhere near a source with that high of an activity, run for your life.  A picocurie (pCi) is about 2.2 disintegrations per minute or 0.037 disintegrations per second.  The metric system does not use curies, instead, it uses a unit called a Becquerel (bq) which is one disintegration per second.  1 pCi = 0.037 bq.  The “liter” in pCi/L can refer to a liter of air or a liter of water, depending on what you are measuring; radon, for instance, can be measured in both air and in water.  


Get Tested | Gross Alpha

You can not see, smell, taste, or otherwise detect alpha particles with your senses. There are meters that can be used to measure background radiation in an area, but there is no simple screening test. Regarding your water source, a potential problem with radionuclides would be related to a private water source, such as: a well or spring, a surface water source down-gradient of a mining operation, a wastewater treatment plant that processes production brine water, a region where the geology is characterized by igneous, metamorphic, or phosphate-rich sedimentary rock derived from igneous/metamorphic rock containing NORM (not most rocks), and rather old limestone formations.

Contamination of treated "city water", i.e., a community water supply system or a non-transient non-community system by radionuclides is not likely because the EPA and state agencies require that the raw water sources be tested and standard water treatment processes would reduce the level of naturally-occurring radionuclides prior to entering the distribution system.

Note: Regional Issues- "It is also widely occurring in groundwater associated with igneous rock with highest concentrations generally found in Western states from Montana to Arizona and along the Eastern seaboard from South Carolina to Maine." (Source)

Level 1 | Observational Self-Testing

Level 1 Testing is done with simple observations that an individual can make with their own senses such as sight, smell, and taste. These observations can be readily apparent or can be observed as they change over time. In addition, accessible related information about the home can also be used to narrow down the cause of your water issues.

Observations for Gross Alpha

The self-screening tests would include the following:

  • Are you located in an area with elevated radon in air levels and your water is from a local spring or well?
  • Are you located in an area where your deep water well is influenced by brine water or potentially vulnerable to a mining operation, oil/gas development, coal or coal ash, power plants using coal, geologic region with NORM in local bedrock, or a landfill?


You should test your water for gross alpha if previous water quality tests showed an elevated level of uranium, beta particles, radium, or strontium.

Interesting article about natural Radioactivity in Groundwater.

Level 1 | Self-Test Web App
To do a quick and easy self diagnosis of your water, click the button below.
Launch

Level 2 | Do-It-Yourself Testing

Level 2 Testing is Do-It-Yourself testing that can be done in your own home using a Testing Kit. After you’ve done Level 1 Testing, Level 2 Testing can confirm if your observations are correct. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment (see below) or continue to Level 3 Testing.

Notes on Level 2 Testing for Gross Alpha

There is no real low-cost meter or at-home test you can do yourself to check the level of NORM in your drinking water, but there are meters that can be used to check your food and air in your home.

Recommended Level 2 Tests
AmazonTwo-Pack: Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit AT 100 (long-term)

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>

View
AmazonSeychelle 1-40401-W Radiological Family Water Pitcher

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If alpha concentration is less than 5 pCi/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If beta concentration is less than 4 millirems/year</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit.</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestTriple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
AmazonAquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If the concentration of combined radium is < 5 pCi/L, alpha and beta are low, and radon less than 300 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>

View
Crystal QuestWhole-House Water-Softener System

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If alpha is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 228 and Radium 226 are < 5 pCi/L  (POE Device)</div>

View
AmazonUkoke RO75GP 6 Stages Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, NSF/ANSI 58 & IAPMO Platinum Seal Certified

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the alpha concentration is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the betadosage equivalent is < 4 millirems/year and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If combined radium concentration is < 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, uranium, and radon are low - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Final Barrier After Treatment Implemented</div>

View
Recommended Products
AmazonL3-AMAZ-T-02 | Two-Pack: Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit AT 100 (long-term)

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>

View
AmazonST-AMAZ-S-01 | Seychelle 1-40401-W Radiological Family Water Pitcher

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If alpha concentration is less than 5 pCi/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If beta concentration is less than 4 millirems/year</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit.</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestST-CRYS-T-02 | Triple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
AmazonST-AMAZ-A-01 | AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If the concentration of combined radium is < 5 pCi/L, alpha and beta are low, and radon less than 300 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>

View
Crystal QuestLT-CRYS-W-01 | Whole-House Water-Softener System

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If alpha is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 228 and Radium 226 are < 5 pCi/L  (POE Device)</div>

View
AmazonLT-AMAZ-U-01 | Ukoke RO75GP 6 Stages Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, NSF/ANSI 58 & IAPMO Platinum Seal Certified

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the alpha concentration is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the betadosage equivalent is < 4 millirems/year and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If combined radium concentration is < 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, uranium, and radon are low - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Final Barrier After Treatment Implemented</div>

View

Level 3 | Informational Testing

Level 3 Testing is done through an accredited Water Testing Laboratory. With Level 3 Testing, you can order a testing kit that is used to prepare your sample and submit it to the lab. By utilizing a lab, you have the assurance that a certified water expert had analyzed your water sample. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment options (see below) or continue to Level 4 Testing - Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 3 Testing for Gross Alpha

There are a few high-quality low-cost informational water testing kits for radiological contaminants. If you never tested the radon level in your home, the first step should be to document the level of radon in your indoor air (see above) and then consider one or more of the following.

Recommended Level 3 Tests
AmazonTwo-Pack: Accustar Alpha Track Test Kit AT 100 (long-term)

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>

View
AmazonSeychelle 1-40401-W Radiological Family Water Pitcher

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If alpha concentration is less than 5 pCi/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If beta concentration is less than 4 millirems/year</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit.</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestTriple Under-Sink Water Filter, 8-Stage

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View
AmazonAquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If the concentration of combined radium is < 5 pCi/L, alpha and beta are low, and radon less than 300 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>

View
Crystal QuestWhole-House Water-Softener System

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If alpha is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 228 and Radium 226 are < 5 pCi/L  (POE Device)</div>

View
AmazonUkoke RO75GP 6 Stages Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, NSF/ANSI 58 & IAPMO Platinum Seal Certified

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the alpha concentration is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the betadosage equivalent is < 4 millirems/year and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If combined radium concentration is < 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, uranium, and radon are low - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Final Barrier After Treatment Implemented</div>

View

Level 4 | Certified Testing

A Level 4 Certified Test Test uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to prepare the water sample and then works with an accredited laboratory in order to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results, but can also be used as a document in legal cases. For Baseline Testing, we recommend that you use Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 4 Testing for Gross Alpha

If you are considering certified baseline testing for radionuclides, it is critical to understand what you believe is the source of the "contamination". Is the source natural or artificial? If the source is linked to a permitted activity such as a mining operation, natural gas development, coal processing plant, or landfill, it may be necessary to test for other water quality parameters that are related to the source. We would strongly recommend ordering at least a Neighborhood Environmental Report or an EDR Report with Geocheck.

Get Treatment | Gross Alpha

For a general guidance on water treatment for radionuclides, we recommend reviewing the EPA Treatment review website. From this resource, the possible water treatment options include: ion exchange, reverse osmosis (RO/POU RO), lime softening, electrodialysis, activated alumina, greensand filtration, and coagulation/flocculation. The treatment processes more commonly used by large regulated water systems include activated alumina, greensand filtration, lime softening and coagulation/flocculation, however, some of these treatment methods do not directly target gross alpha.

To develop a water treatment system for gross alpha, it is necessary to understand the source of the radiation. The first step would be a comprehensive water quality test and to determine if there are any man-influenced sources of radiation that could be mitigated. In addition, it may be wise to treat your water for gross alpha even if it is below the MCL; please remember the maximum contaminant level goal is zero. Depending on the form of the radiation, it may be possible to remove the radiation sources from your water through aeration (radon gas), cation exchange, anion exchange, activated alumina, iron oxides, granular-activated-carbon filters, and/or reverse osmosis. Cation-exchange resins can be used to remove up to 95% for positive ions like radium; whereas anion exchange resins, iron oxides, and activated alumina can reduce about 90+ % of uranium and a mixed bed resin can remove both radium and uranium. (Source) Be aware, however, that by removing radioactive sources from the water, you will be concentrating it in the treatment resins, sediments, or activated carbon which could raise a disposal issue.

Short Term Treatment

Because alpha radiation can not penetrate human skin, but can enter the body through inhalation and consumption, the primary recommendation for relatively low levels of exposure is to develop an alternative potable water source and when, bathing, make sure the space is properly vented and, depending on the source of the gross alpha, it may be advisable to install a point-of-use granular-activated-carbon (GAC) filtration system. The primary issue with GAC is that radiation decay by-products will accumulate on the filter and become a source of radiation which could generate a disposal problem.

Recommended Short-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If alpha concentration is less than 5 pCi/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If beta concentration is less than 4 millirems/year</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit.</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If the concentration of combined radium is < 5 pCi/L, alpha and beta are low, and radon less than 300 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If alpha is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 228 and Radium 226 are < 5 pCi/L  (POE Device)</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the alpha concentration is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the betadosage equivalent is < 4 millirems/year and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If combined radium concentration is < 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, uranium, and radon are low - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Final Barrier After Treatment Implemented</div>

View

If the concentration of alpha or combined radium is over 5 pCi/L - Recommendation: Seek Advice from a Local Professional (Customized Solution). Contact Us

Long Term Treatment

If the water has a high level of gross alpha and radon gas, it may be advisable to install a particle filtration system and then an aeration system to properly vent or strip the radon gas from the water. Be sure that the aeration system removes the radon gas from the water before the water enters the house. Then, if there is any significant radium or uranium in the water, they can be removed with a cation or anion exchange resin or a mixed bed resin followed by a reverse osmosis treatment system. Note that although uranium is the ultimate source of radon and radium is its immediate parent, they are usually locked in solid form in the rock below and, even with high levels of radon in the water, it is unlikely there would also be significant radium in the water. One interesting exception are the artesian wells in Saratoga Springs, New York, which do have significant amounts of radium in the water. The only specific technology identified to target gross alpha is reverse osmosis (Source). If you noticed, we used the words could and depending, because the proper system depends on your specific conditions. Your specific conditions would require a detailed water quality analysis and working with a professional to develop a long-term solution.

Recommended Long-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Test is for Air Quality</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If alpha concentration is less than 5 pCi/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If beta concentration is less than 4 millirems/year</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit.</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device) </div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-carbon-tetrachloride">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chloroform-trichloromethane">Note: If the concentration of trihalomethanes is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-ethylbenzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.03 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-methylene-chloride-dichloromethane-dcm">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-mtbe-methyl-tert-butyl-ether">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-tetrachloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-toluene">Note: If the concentration is less than 0.8 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-xylenes">Note: If the concentration is < 1.0 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-atrazine">Note: If the concentration is < 0.001 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-alachlor">Note: If the concentration is < 0.002 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-glyphosate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.7 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-2-4-d">Note: If the concentration is < 0.07 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.006 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: Temporary Solution: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: Temporary Solution: If combined concentration is less than 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, and uranium are below drinking water limit (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-total-dissolved-solids">Note: Consider this treatment If the problem appears to be related to a metal or hardness.</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-trihalomethanes">Note: If the concentration is < 0.08 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-haloacetic-acids">Note: If the concentration is < 0.06 mg/L (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the concentration of alpha is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the concentration is < 4 millirems/year - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If the concentration of combined radium is < 5 pCi/L, alpha and beta are low, and radon less than 300 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If alpha is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 228 and Radium 226 are < 5 pCi/L  (POE Device)</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-gross-alpha">Note: If the alpha concentration is < 5 pCi/L and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-beta-particles">Note: If the betadosage equivalent is < 4 millirems/year and Radium 226+ Radium 228 is < 5 pCi/L - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-radium-226-and-radium-228">Note: If combined radium concentration is < 5 pCi/L and alpha, beta, uranium, and radon are low - (POU Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Final Barrier After Treatment Implemented</div>

View

If the gross alpha or combined radium level is 5 pCi/L or more, Recommendation: Seek Advice from a Local Professional (Customized Solution) and get your water tested for the Tap Score Extended Radiological Test. Contact Us

Archive Page Reference
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page. To reference related archived Water-Research.net page(s) click the link(s) below:
No items found.

in-L6-gross-alpha