Several North American locations are experiencing spikes in uranium levels in drinking water. These cases are not connected with clear causes. Ill-informed or unethical public officials are telling residents the uranium is not risky, "largely safe to drink" because levels are not "acute."
In other words, since the uranium levels aren't causing acute radiation symptoms, the water is safe to drink:
Susan Dunlap. 2016, August 18. Uranium in water leading to money woes for Whitehall http://mtstandard.com/natural-resources/uranium-in-water-leading-to-money-woes-for-whitehall/article_0450450f-39f9-524b-9d79-3ac17219b0dc.html
A chronic case of uranium showing up in Whitehall’s two public wells is forcing the town of about 1,000 people to look for money to solve the problem… Whitehall, however, will likely need to drill a new well or install treatment in the existing wells, Kristi Ponozzo, director of public policy at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, said Tuesday. She also confirmed that the situation is not acute.
Rachel Ward. August 14, 2016. Councillor urges calm after Bridgetown water uranium spike. CBC News August 14, 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/bridgetown-annapolis-valley-water-uranium-1.3720629
After a weekend of "panic" over a uranium spike in public drinking water, a councillor in an Annapolis Valley town is urging calm. The water in Bridgetown is indeed safe for people to drink, Coun. Horace Hurlburt said. The Municipality of the County of Annapolis initially said on its website that elevated uranium levels have been found in the water supply but that it was largely safe to drink…. The official cause of the uranium spike in Bridgetown water is not yet known, he said.
David Hudnall. From 2010–2014, Wake County Found 40 Private Wells with Dangerous Levels of Uranium. Then It Stopped Testing. Indyweek, August 17, 2016 http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/from-20102014-wake-county-found-40-private-wells-with-dangerous-levels-of-uranium-then-it-stopped-testing/Content?oid=5058781There is much I could write here but classes resume today and I'm on a tight schedule.
Last week, a little-known Bahama, N.C.-based data-science nonprofit called Insightus issued an alarming report regarding uranium levels in private water wells in Wake County. Using obscure but publicly available state databases, Insightus found that chemical samples from private wells concentrated in the eastern part of the county—in and near towns such as Zebulon, Rolesville, and Wendell—routinely register dangerous levels of uranium.
Or, rather, they did—until 2014, when Wake County abruptly removed uranium from the list of chemicals for which it regularly tests. The INDY has examined Insightus's findings and confirmed its conclusions. Between 2010 and 2014, according to records maintained by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, forty private wells in eastern Wake County were found to contain amounts of uranium in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant level of 0.03 mg/L. (Chronic ingestion of drinking water with elevated levels of uranium contributes to kidney damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and may also correlate to increased cancer risks.)
So, let me simply say that URANIUM is CHEMICALLY GENOTOXIC in addition to being RADIOACTIVE and emitting ALPHA particles in its decay processes, which are capable of shredding DNA.