Apr 25, 2022

Study Examines Uranium In U.S. Drinking Water

The study analyzed data from the U.S. EPA on drinking water systems across the country.

drinking water

A study found that the U.S. drinking water supply contains unsafe levels of uranium. 

According to Gizmodo News, the study analyzed data from the U.S. EPA on drinking water systems across the country. It found that uranium was often detected during compliance testing and that a small percentage of systems are estimated to contain levels higher than the maximum limit set by the EPA. 

Notable, these sources of highly contaminated water were often near semi-urban, Hispanic communities, reported Gizmodo News.

Researchers analyzed EPA compliance data from over 37,000 drinking water systems across the U.S., estimating the average concentration of uranium and other metals in a drinking water supply up through 2011. 

An interactive map of the data for the public and other researchers to view can be found here.

Approximately two-thirds of samples had levels of detectable uranium between 2000 and 2011, reported Gizmodo News. It is estimated that 2.1% of the systems had an average concentration higher than the EPA’s limit.

The findings show nationwide estimates of uranium contamination in public drinking water systems which provide water to 90% of the country, according to the researchers.

The highest concentrations of uranium were found in the Southwest and Central Midwest regions of the U.S., according to the study, reported Gizmodo News. 

“Such interventions and policies should specifically protect the most highly exposed communities to advance environmental justice and protect public health,” said study author Anna Nigra, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

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