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EPA ISSUES FINAL DRINKING WATER STANDARD FOR RADIONUCLIDES

Release Date: 12/08/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 8, 2000
EPA ISSUES FINAL DRINKING WATER
STANDARD FOR RADIONUCLIDES


In a final rule, EPA is maintaining the current standard for radionuclides in drinking water, which has been in effect since l977. The Agency added a new standard for uranium in drinking water and set new monitoring requirements that will provide improved health protection for 420,000 persons for the combined radium standard (a carcinogen) and for an additional 620,000 persons through a new standard for uranium (a kidney toxin and carcinogen). Most drinking water sources that are affected by radionuclides have very low levels of these naturally occurring contaminants that are not considered to be a public health concern. The final standards are: combined radium 226/228 of 5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L); a gross alpha standard for all alphas of 15 pCi/L, not including radon and uranium; and a combined standard of 4 millerems per year (mrem/year) for beta emitters. The standard from uranium will be set at 30 micrograms per liter (Fg/L) [microgram per liter measurement is comparable to parts per billion (ppb)]. Additional information on radionuclides and on the final standard is available at: http://www.epa.gov/ow , under “What’s New.”

R-186 ###