Skip to main content Accessibility help

Uranium and 226Ra in drinking water supplied by Finnish waterworks

  • J. Barescut, D. Lariviere, T. Stocki, T. Turtiainen (a1), M. Muikku (a1), P. Vesterbacka (a1) and T. Heikkinen (a1)...


In a survey on uranium and 226Ra concentrations in water distributed by Finnish waterworks, 548 samples were analysed that covered drinking water networks servicing 84% of all consumers. Among all consumers, the mean and median uranium concentrations at the point of use were 0.58 and 0.15 μg L–1. The mean uranium concentration in drinking water produced from groundwater was 0.88 μg L–1, and when surface water was used in production the mean concentration was only 0.15 μg L–1. 226Ra concentrations were generally below our detection limit of 0.01 Bq L–1. The annual effective doses to the public arising from these radionuclides were only a few microsieverts, and the 0.1 mSv limit laid down in the EU Drinking Water Directive was not exceeded in any of the studied water distribution networks.



Hide All
[1][1]Sawka M.N., Cheuvront S.N. and Carter R. III. Nutr Rev 63 (2005) S30–S39.
[2][2]Thompson T., Fawell J., Kunikane S., Jackson D., Appleyard S., Callan P., Bartram J. and Kingston P., Chemical safety of drinking water: assessing priorities for risk management (World Health Organization, Geneva, 2007) pp. vii –viii, 31–78.
[3][3]United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation., UNSCEAR 2008 Report to the General Assembly, with scientific annexes, Annex B: Exposures of the public and workers from various sources of radiation (Vienna, United Nations, 2008) pp. 234–236, 339, 385.
[4][4]United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation., UNSCEAR 2000 Report to the General Assembly, with scientific annexes, Vol. I, Annex B: Exposures from natural radiation sources (Vienna, United Nations, 2008) pp. 93–94, 126.
[5][5]Kahlos H., Radon-222 concentration of some water samples determined with gamma- spectrometric measurements. Report SFL-A14 (Institute of Radiation Physics, Helsinki, 1969) pp. 1–25.
[6][6]Asikainen M., Geochim Cosmochim Ac 45 (1981) 201–206.
[7][7]Juntunen R., Etelä-Suomen kallioporakaivojen uraanin- ja radontutkimukset (Uranium and radon in wells drilled in bedrock in southern Finland). Report of investigation 98 (Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo, 1991) pp. 1–22.
[8][8]Salonen L., “238U series radionuclides as a source of increased radioactivity in groundwater originating from Finnish bedrock”, Future Groundwater Resources at Risk, Helsinki, June 1994, J. Soveri, T Suokko Eds. (Wallingford, IAHS, 1994) pp. 71–84.
[9][9]Vesterbacka P., Mäkeläinen I. and Arvela H., Radiat Prot Dosim 113 (2005) 223–232.
[10][10]Vesterbacka P., Turtiainen T., Heinävaara S. and Arvela H., Radiat Prot Dosim 121 (2006) 406–412.
[11][11]Asikainen M. and Kahlos H., Health Phys 39 (1980) 73–83.
[12][12]STUK., Radiation of Household Water. Radiation Safety Guide ST 12.3 (Helsinki: Erweko Painotuote, 1994) pp. 1–8.
[13][13]Mäkeläinen I., Huikuri P., Salonen L., Markkanen M. and Arvela H., Talousveden radioaktiivisuus – perusteita laatuvaatimuksille (Radioactivity of drinking water—basis for quality requirements). STUK-A182 (Edita Ltd., Helsinki, 2001) pp. 12–17.
[14][14]Muikku M., Puhakainen M., Heikkinen T. and Ilus T., Health Phys 96 (2009) 646–654.
[15][15]Lahermo P. and Juntunen R., Appl Geochem 6 (1991) 169–183.
[16][16]Welch A.H. and Lico M.S., Appl Geochem 13 (1998)
[17][17]Webster I.T., Hancock G.J. and Murray A.S., Geochim Cosmochim Ac 59 (1995) 2469–2476.
[18][18]Osmond J.K., Rydell H.S. and Kaufman M.I., Science 29 (1968) 997–999.
[19][19]Kigoshi K., Science 173 (1971) 47–48.
[20][20]Fleischer R.L, Science 207 (1980) 979–981.
[21][21]Chittenden R.H. and Hart H.S., Trans Conn Acad A&S VIII (1888–1892) 19–38.
[22][22]Pearce R.M., J Exp Med 11 (1909) 430–443.
[23][23]Oliver J., J Exp Med 21 (1915) 425–451.
[24][24]Karsner H.T., Reimann S.T. and Brooks S.C., J Med Res 32 (1918) 169–175.
[25][25]MacNider W.deB., J Exp Med 29 (1919) 513–529.
[26][26]International Commission on Radiological Protection, Br J Radiol 24 (1951) 46–53.
[27][27]Blantz R.C., J Clin Invest 55 (1975)
[28][28]Leggett R.W., Health Phys 67 (1994) 589–610.
[29][29]Bleise A., Danesi P.R. and Burkart W., J Environ Radioactiv 64 (2003) 93–112.
[30][30]Trenfield M.A., Ng J.C., Noller B.N., Markich S.J. and van Dam R.A., Environ Sci Technol 45 (2011) 3082–3089.
[31][31]World Health Organization, Uranium in Drinking-water. Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. WHO/SDE/WSH/03.04/118/Rev/1 (WHO, Geneva, 2011) pp. 1–21.
[32][32]Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption. OJ L 330(1998) 32–54.
[33][33]Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR), Frequently Asked Questions about Uranium in Mineral Water (BfR, Berlin, 2009) pp. 1–3.
[34][34]FPT Committee on Drinking Water, Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality—Summary Table (Health Canada, Ottawa, 2010) pp. 6, 12.
[35][35]Environmental Protection Agency,Fed Regist 65 (2000) 76708–76753.
[36][36]National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 6 2004 (NHMRC, Canberra, 2003) pp. 7-1–7-6, 10-26.
[37][37]The World Health Organization, Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (3rd Edition) (WHO, Geneva, 2008) pp. 185–186.
[38][38]Salonen L. and Hukkanen H., J Radioanal Nucl Ch 226 (1997) 67–74.
[39][39]Lapinlampi T. and Raassina S., Water Supply and Sewer Systems 1998–2000, Waterworks (Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy, Vammala, 2002) pp. 53–105.
[40][40]Isomäki E., Britschgi R., Gustafsson J., Kuusisto E., Munsterhjelm K., Santala E., Suokko T. and Valve M. The future alternatives of centralized water supply in Finland. The Finnish Environment 27/07 (Edita Prima Ltd, Helsinki 2007) pp. 9–19.
[41][41]Paturi M., Tapanainen H., Reinivuo H. and Pietinen P. (eds.), The National FINDIET 2007 Survey (National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, 2008) pp. 33–45.
[42][42]International Commission on Radiological Protection, Basic anatomical and physiological data for use in radiological protection: reference values. ICRP Publication 89 (Pergamon, Oxford, 2003) p. 25.
[43][43]United States Environmental Protection Agency, Estimated Per Capita Water Ingestion and Body Weight in the United States—An Update. EPA-822-R-00-001 (US EPA, Washington DC, 2004). p. 4-1–4-61.
[44][44]International Commission on Radiological Protection, Age-dependent doses to members of the public from intake of radionuclides, Part 5: Compilation of ingestion and inhalation dose coefficients, ICRP publication 72 (Elsevier Science, Oxford, 1996) p. 40.
[45][45]EAREAU, Water News 01(2011) 3.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Uranium and 226Ra in drinking water supplied by Finnish waterworks

  • J. Barescut, D. Lariviere, T. Stocki, T. Turtiainen (a1), M. Muikku (a1), P. Vesterbacka (a1) and T. Heikkinen (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.