Hartley Well Drilling installs water filtering solutions for dangerous radon and arsenic in New Hampshire and Maine. Learn more about treating these hazards.
What is Radon
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and naturally occurring radioactive gas produced from the decay of the element radium. Radium occurs naturally in rocky soil worldwide. Radon gas can dissolve in ground-water and later be released in the air during such normal household activities as showering, dish washing, and doing laundry. When radon accumulates in indoor air it can pose an increased health risk, primarily, lung cancer. Radon in water is extremely dangerous and the EPA estimates that in-home exposure to radon gas causes 20,000 cancer deaths annually.
So, how much Radon is too much?
The U. S. EPA has set an advisory “action level” of 4 p Ci/L for radon gas in indoor air. While not a mandated health standard, the level is a guideline for people to use in assessing the seriousness of their exposure to airborne radon. Concentrations noticeably lower than 4 p Ci/L are desirable.
What is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.
Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil, water, air, and plants and animals. Arsenic gets into well water through natural erosion. As ground water flows through rocks and soil that contain arsenic, some of the arsenic
dissolves into the water. It can be further released into the environment through natural activities such as volcanic action, erosion of rocks and forest fires, or through human actions.
Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate. Known carcinogen, based on sufficient evidence from human data. An increased lung cancer mortality was observed in multiple human populations exposed primarily through inhalation. Also, increased mortality from multiple internal organ cancers (liver, kidney, lung, and bladder) and an increased incidence of skin cancer were observed in populations consuming drinking water high in inorganic arsenic.
On January 22, 2001 EPA adopted a new standard for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb), replacing the old standard of 50 ppb. The rule became effective on February 22, 2002. The date by which systems must comply with the new 10 ppb standard is January 23, 2006. EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.
It’s a good idea to test your drinking, particularly if you rely upon surface water (which dug wells and shallow points contain). We believe the best solution for water bacteria is to eliminate it at the source by drilling a gravel/screen or Artesian well. Water in drilled wells is filtered naturally by underground rocks and therefore not nearly as likely to contain bacteria. We do not treat dug wells but if your water tests reveal the presence of bacteria, please call us at 603-323-7924 to discuss well drilling options.
Fluoride in your drinking water?
Fluoride occurs naturally in New Hampshire's bedrock. As such, it is frequently present in water samples taken from bedrock (artesian, drilled) wells. Fluoride is seen at high concentrations in bedrock wells in the Mt. Washington-Saco River Valley area, Wolfeboro through Franconia Notch and immediately west of Concord. In the remainder of New Hampshire, high fluoride concentrations occur more irregularly. Fluoride has no taste, color or odor and thus the only way to determine its concentration is by laboratory analysis. In dug wells that are excavated into sand and gravel, the fluoride level is generally low (<0.2 mg/L) and would not be expected to exceed 2 mg/L.
The biggest fluoride side effect you can expect here is the threat of fluorosis. This is a condition wherein the enamel of the tooth changes drastically because of the abundance of fluoride in the body. You won’t notice it on the teeth that are already present in your mouth. It affects the teeth that are about to grow. That is why fluorosis is considered as a medical condition that affects children.
With fluorosis, the developing teeth come out discolored, with irremovable stains of yellow and brown. No matter how many times you brush, the stains are still there. So if you’re looking for reasons to make fluoride bad for you, this is one of them.
If you just intake fluoride from toothpaste, the dangers of fluoride don’t enter your bloodstream. This sets to rest any fears of people askin, “Is fluoride toxic?” if they just get it through toothpaste. It just stays on your teeth after you spit it out. That’s where it’s supposed to be.
If you let it enter your bloodstream, your body has very little use for it and you become susceptible to fluoride side effects. Think of it as consuming pimple cream with phosphate fluoride. It’s meant for your face and not your stomach. Fortunately, your kidneys work to get rid of the fluoride danger stuck in your body. But there’s a limit to what they can do. It can get rid of about half the amount you ingest after a few days. But if you consumer more fluoride than what your kidneys can take care of, that’s when the risk of fluorosis enters. There is even evidence that it can affect our thyroid gland.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (conjugate base perfluorooctanoate)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (conjugate base perfluorooctanoate), also known as C8, is a syntheticperfluorinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant. One industrial application is as a surfactant in the emulsion polymerization of fluoropolymers. It has been used in the manufacture of such prominent consumer goods aspolytetrafluoroethylene (commercially known as Teflon). PFOA has been manufactured since the 1940s in industrial quantities. It is also formed by the degradation of precursors such as some fluorotelomers.
PFOA is a carcinogen, a liver toxicant, a developmental toxicant, and an immune system toxicant, and also exerts hormonal effects including alteration of thyroid hormone levels.
Water contaminated with PFOA, blood levels are approximately 100 times higher than drinking water levels.
On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS. The lifetime health advisories and health effects support documents to to assist federal, state, tribal, and local officials and managers of drinking water systems in protecting public health when these chemicals are present in drinking water. The levels of PFOS and PFOA concentrations under which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur over a lifetime of exposure are 0.07 parts per billion (70 parts per trillion)
Uranium is a naturally occurring element in groundwater and is more common in some of the mountain areas of the state. However, there is little information on where uranium may be found. Uranium gets into drinking water when groundwater dissolves minerals that contain uranium. The amount of uranium in well water will vary depending upon its concentration in bedrock. However, even within areas that have bedrock types containing uranium, there is a large degree of variation within relatively small areas. Levels of naturally occurring radiation in water are not likely to be high in shallow wells. The potential exists for deep bedrock wells in New Hampshire and Maine to have uranium, although most will be very low. High levels of uranium indicate the potential for radon and radium also to be present
Naturally occurring uranium has very low levels of radioactivity. The most common ways for uranium to enter your body are through your food and drinking water. Uranium exposure can damage your kidneys. Kidneys help you stay healthy by:
Removing waste from your blood,
Making red blood cells,
Controlling your blood pressure, and
Keeping your bones healthy. Over time, damage to your kidneys can lead to organ failure, which can be dangerous, even life-threatening.