IISc Research Shows High Radon levels in Air and Water in Bengaluru, putting Residents at Risk of Cancer

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science came together for a training programme on “Health in a Changing Climate: Empowering Health Professionals” and discovered that some locations on the outskirts of Bengaluru have groundwater with a high radon level that is utilised for consumption. Granites that are radioactive emit this radon. Lung cancer risk can be increased by radon exposure over an extended period of time. 

Experts claim that uranium spontaneously decays into radon and radium through radioactive processes.

According to the scientists’ first investigations, the level of radon is 50 to 100 times higher than the allowable limit of 11.1 Bq per litre. As a direct result of this finding, additional focus has been placed on the study of radon levels in water supplies used for drinking.

The presence of radon in the atmosphere and water causes harm to the lung tissues, in contrast to the effects that the existence of uranium has on the urinary system and the increased risk of developing kidney cancer. The researchers realised that the uranium level might be high because radon is naturally produced from uranium. They discovered elevated uranium concentrations in groundwater in the Bengaluru suburbs of Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Chintamani, and Pavagada.

According to researchers, certain areas of the city’s outskirts have uranium levels in water that are up to 8000 micrograms per litre, well beyond the allowed limit of 60 micrograms per litre. It varies between 5000 and 6000 micrgrams per litre in Chikkaballapur, Kolar, and Chintamani. According to Srinivasan, “the amount of radon is being examined as it is a topic of worry.”

Lung and kidney cancer can be brought on by radon in the air and uranium in water

While the existence of uranium harms the urinary tract and increases the risk of kidney cancer, the presence of radon damages lung tissues and threatens lung cancer.

No more radon research will be conducted, according to officials

Dr. H. Paramesh, Professor at DCCC and Consultant for the World Health Organization, also stated that preliminary research indicated Chikkaballapur to have uranium levels over 1000, compared to the permissible values of 30–60 micrograms per litre.

It’s interesting that while some former Groundwater Board officials have researched the existence of radon in water, currently employed officials acknowledged that they had not pursued additional research on the subject.

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