Ionizing radiation


Radon in drinking water

Radon can enter - and be released from - water that is intended for human consumption. Underground rock containing natural uranium releases radon into the surrounding water.

Once absorbed, radon is readily released from surface water into the air. Groundwater, on the other hand, is known to have a higher concentration of radon. In cases where groundwater wells with very high radon concentrations have been identified, it is possible that consumers of water from these wells may take up elevated quantities of radon through ingestion and inhalation.

In most cases radon from drinking water contributes only marginally to the overall radiation dose from radon. Several treatment options to reduce elevated radon concentrations in drinking water supplies are available.

The WHO IRP does not focus on the issue of radon in drinking water, but information is available at: