Tag Archives: uranium

Uranium Exposure from Drinking Water, Rajasthan, India

Jakhu R, Mehra R, Mittal HM. Exposure assessment of natural uranium from drinking water. Environmental Science: Process Impacts. Nov 2016 

The uranium concentration in the drinking water of the residents of the Jaipur and Ajmer districts of Rajasthan has been measured for exposure assessment. The daily intake of uranium from the drinking water for the residents of the study area is found to vary from 0.4 to 123.9 μg per day. For the average uranium ingestion rate of 35.2 μg per day for a long term exposure period of 60 years, estimations have been made for the retention of uranium in different body organs and its excretion with time using ICRP’s biokinetic model of uranium. Radioactive and chemical toxicity of uranium has been reported and discussed in detail in the present manuscript.

Uranium in Drinking Water of Certain Populations

Corlin L, Rock T, Cordova J, Woodin M, Durant JL, Gute DM, Ingram J, Brugge D. Health Effects and Environmental Justice Concerns of Exposure to Uranium in Drinking Water. Current environmental health reports. 2016 Nov 4.

We discuss the recent epidemiologic literature regarding health effects of uranium exposure in drinking water focusing on the chemical characteristics of uranium. While there is strong toxicologic evidence for renal and reproductive effects as well as DNA damage, the epidemiologic evidence for these effects in people exposed to uranium in drinking water is limited. Further, epidemiologic evidence is lacking for cardiovascular and oncogenic effects. One challenge in characterizing health effects of uranium in drinking water is the paucity of long-term cohort studies with individual level exposure assessment. Nevertheless, there are environmental justice concerns due to the substantial exposures for certain populations. For example, we present original data suggesting that individuals living in the Navajo Nation are exposed to high levels of uranium in unregulated well water used for drinking. In 10 out of 185 samples (5.4 %), concentrations of uranium exceeded standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Therefore, efforts to mitigate exposure to toxic elements in drinking water are warranted and should be prioritized.

Chemical and Radiochemical Guidelines for Uranium in Drinking Water

Ansoborlo E, Lebaron-Jacobs L, Prat O. Uranium in drinking-water: A unique case of guideline value increases and discrepancies between chemical and radiochemical guidelines. Environment International. Apr2015, Vol. 77, p1-4. 4p.

Background: Uranium represents a unique case for an element naturally present in the environment, as its chemical guideline value in drinking water significantly increased from 2 μg/L in 1998 up to 15 μg/L in 2004 and then to 30 μg/L in 2011, to date corresponding to a multiplication factor of 15 within a period of just 13 years.

Objectives In this commentary we summarize the evolution of uranium guideline values in drinking-water based on both radiological and chemical aspects, emphasizing the benefit of human studies and their contribution to recent recommendations. We also propose a simpler and better consistency between radiological and chemical values.

Discussion: The current chemical guideline value of 30 μg/L is still designated as provisional because of scientific uncertainties regarding uranium toxicity. During the same period, the radiological guideline for 238 U increased from 4 Bq/L to 10 Bq/L while that for 234 U decreased from 4 Bq/L to 1 Bq/L. These discrepancies are discussed here, and a value of 1 Bq/L for all uranium isotopes is proposed to be more consistent with the current chemical value of 30 μg/L.

Conclusion: Continuous progress in the domains of toxicology and speciation should enable a better interpretation of the biological effects of uranium in correlation with epidemiological human studies. This will certainly aid future proposals for uranium guideline values. 


Uranium and Thorium in Drinking Water, Rajasthan, India


The concentrations of238U and232Th have been determined in drinking water samples collected from the Sikar district of Rajasthan State, India. The samples have been analysed by using high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.238U content in water samples ranged from 8.20 to 202.63 µg l-1and232Th content ranged from 0.57 to 1.46 µg l-1 The measured238U content in 25 % of the analysed samples exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency drinking water guidelines of 30 µg l-1and 12.5 % of the samples exceeded the 60 µg l-1Indian maximum acceptable concentration recommended by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, India. The annual effective doses (µSv y-1) due to ingestion of238U and232Th for different age groups were also calculated. The results compared with the recommended value reported by the WHO.

Urinary Excretion of Uranium in Adults; Czech Republic

Malátová I, Bečková V, Kotík L. Urinary excretion of uranium in adult inhabitants of the Czech Republic. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 2015 Nov 30;152:92-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.11.011.

The main aim of this study was to determine and evaluate urinary excretion of uranium in the general public of the Czech Republic. This value should serve as a baseline for distinguishing possible increase in uranium content in population living near legacy sites of mining and processing uranium ores and also to help to distinguish the proportion of the uranium content in urine among uranium miners resulting from inhaled dust. The geometric mean of the uranium concentration in urine of 74 inhabitants of the Czech Republic was 0.091 mBq/L (7.4 ng/L) with the 95% confidence interval 0.071-0.12 mBq/L (5.7-9.6 ng/L) respectively. The geometric mean of the daily excretion was 0.15 mBq/d (12.4 ng/d) with the 95% confidence interval 0.12-0.20 mBq/d (9.5-16.1 ng/d) respectively. Despite the legacy of uranium mines and plants processing uranium ore in the Czech Republic, the levels of uranium in urine and therefore, also human body content of uranium, is similar to other countries, esp. Germany, Slovenia and USA. Significant difference in the daily urinary excretion of uranium was found between individuals using public supply and private water wells as a source of drinking water. Age dependence of daily urinary excretion of uranium was not found. Mean values and their range are comparable to other countries, esp. Germany, Slovenia and USA.

Fluoride and Uranium Removal by NF and RO

Junjie Shen, Andrea Schäfer. Removal of fluoride and uranium by nanofiltration and reverse osmosis: A review. Chemosphere. Volume 117, December 2014, 679–691

Inorganic contamination in drinking water, especially fluoride and uranium, has been recognized as a worldwide problem imposing a serious threat to human health. Among several treatment technologies applied for fluoride and uranium removal, nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) have been studied extensively and proven to offer satisfactory results with high selectivity. In this review, a comprehensive summary and critical analysis of previous NF and RO applications on fluoride and uranium removal is presented. Fluoride retention is generally governed by size exclusion and charge interaction, while uranium retention is strongly affected by the speciation of uranium and size exclusion usually plays a predominant role for all species. Adsorption on the membrane occurs as some uranium species interact with membrane functional groups. The influence of operating conditions (pressure, crossflow velocity), water quality (concentration, solution pH), solute–solute interactions, membrane characteristics and membrane fouling on fluoride and uranium retention is critically reviewed.

Uranium in Kosovo’s Drinking Water

Fatlume Berisha, Walter Goessler. Uranium in Kosovo’s drinking water. Chemosphere Volume 93, Issue 9, November 2013, Pages 2165–2170

The results of this paper are an initiation to capture the drinking water and/or groundwater elemental situation in the youngest European country, Kosovo. We aim to present a clear picture of the natural uranium concentration in drinking water and/or groundwater as it is distributed to the population of Kosovo. Nine hundred and fifty-one (951) drinking water samples were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The results are the first countrywide interpretation of the uranium concentration in drinking water and/or groundwater, directly following the Kosovo war of 1999. More than 98% of the samples had uranium concentrations above 0.01 μg L−1, which was also our limit of quantification. Concentrations up to 166 μg L−1 were found with a mean of 5 μg L−1 and median 1.6 μg L−1 were found. Two point six percent (2.6%) of the analyzed samples exceeded the World Health Organization maximum acceptable concentration of 30 μg L−1, and 44.2% of the samples exceeded the 2 μg L−1 German maximum acceptable concentrations recommended for infant food preparations.