No big surprise but radioactive water has now been found in Wise County. It’s in Chico, of course, because that’s where some of the older gas wells are.
Radioactive water identified in Wise County town
Elston Johnson, TCEQ said it’s nothing to worry about because:
Johnson says the public would have to drink a lot of radioactive water for years to elevate their risk of getting cancer.
Wilma Subra, MacArthur “Genius” Award winning scientist and Dr. Theo Colborn say that pathway of most concern is air. NORM is a bone-seeking carcinogen with a 1622 year half-life. If NORM is in your water then it will also be in the steam from the water when you do any of the following:
- hot shower
- when you blow-dry your hair
- wash dishes
- cook with water
I’m just guessing but it seems reasonable that inhaling vapor from water that contains high levels of NORM might not be a good thing. You know, 2 + 2 being 4 and all that.
In 2004, the Texas Railroad Commission gave a NORM seminar in San Antonio. I’ve posted slides from that seminar previously. One of the important points from the seminar is:
Given that, it seems reasonable to assume that NORM levels on the chart below would be higher than they were in 2000 when the NORM survey was conducted.
Another important note: Industry self-regulates for NORM. Shocking, I know.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Shades of the Radium Girls!:
Yes, they got severe doses by using their lips & tongues to sharpen the brushes, but it's nothing to be cavalier about.
I would like the TCEQ to publish the actual readings, along with the EPA limits. This is nothing to dance around, claiming it can't be a concern.
Even if it's "natural" radiation, it can still kill & sicken you. There's been some really "hot" homes from radon (a gas) seeping up from rocks into homes. Measured radioactivity from "natural" radon
has reached dangerous levels in some homes. One family was told the cancer threat from their exposure to radon be equal to smoking 80 packs of cigarettes a day!
You don't want to drink high radium content water, either.
Now radium is showing up in the Marcellus shale drilling:
I just posted a new blog post about it. Of course, ProPublica reported the NORM in Marcellus Shale over a month ago and years before that Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe reported it in the Denton Record Chronicle. I've got links to more information in nearly all my NORM posts.