Recent Study Finds Uranium and Metal Concentration Levels Are Elevated In Semi-Urban Community Water Supplies

A recent study on metal concentrations in U.S. community water systems and patterns of inequalities was conducted by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The study found that metal concentrations were elevated in community water systems serving semi-urban, Hispanic communities independent of location or region, highlighting environmental justice concerns. These communities had the highest levels of uranium, selenium, barium, chromium, and arsenic concentrations. The full study is available in The Lancet Planetary Health: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(22)00043-2/fulltext

Uranium is an element that has no taste or smell and naturally present in bedrock in many places. Various studies have shown that drinking water with elevated levels of uranium can affect the kidneys over time. Uranium can decay into other radioactive substances, such as radium, which can cause cancer with extensive exposure over a long period of time (U.S. EPA, 2013).

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