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Radioactive substances found in underground water

Posted April. 03, 2001 18:01,   


Radioactive substances such as uranium and radon have been detected in some sources of underground drinking water.

The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), affiliated with the Ministry of Environment, said Tuesday that it inspected 145 sources of underground water across the country last year and detected levels of uranium well over the permissible level of 100ppb (parts per billion) at two locations. Uranium is known to cause cancer and kidney damage.

At an underground water source in Tanyang, North Chungchong Province, 20,500pCi/liter of radon, 8.4 times the permissible level in the U.S., was detected, NIER officials said.

The ministry plans to ban the use of underground water sources found to contain harmful substances and allow the consumption of water from sources found to contain excessive amounts of radon only after proper purification.

Jung Young-Gwan yongari@donga.com