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Uranium(-238) in municipal water supplies and on hair mineral analysis

Originally posted here:

Adventures in hair mineral analysis…if you live in Tucson, you’ve probably got a uranium-238 issue.

Pretty much every person I’ve tested from Tucson shows elevated uranium on a hair mineral test. This is testing for the U-238 isotope, the more “naturally occurring” one, not the nuclear reactor types U-234 and U-235. People from out of state are not showing elevated uranium very often, if at all. It was such a noticeable pattern (I love patterns) that I’ve been watching this from very early on.

Where is it coming from? The water supply has become the primary suspect. I did a little research:…

For some years starting in 1980, the Twin Buttes copper mine in Pima County recovered uranium as a byproduct from leach solutions recovering copper from waste material.

Arizona Drinking Water Well Contaminants

In Arizona, the most common source of radioactivity is dissolved uranium and dissolved radon gas.” [radon is related to uranium]

Hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) is an important groundwater contaminant in the state of Arizona. The main sources are from uranium mine tailings, former uranium processing plants and high natural background levels in areas of granite bedrock.
Arizona Department of Water Quality (ADEQ) 2004 report on the Status of Water Quality in Arizona identified uranium and nitrates as two of the six main groundwater constituents of concern to the state of Arizona.
SE Arizona occasionally has elevated levels of uranium associated with granite geology, with the highest levels typically around historic mining areas (e.g. Dos Cabezas).

Tucson’s 2012 water report says uranium is definitely present, but not over the levels deemed to be a problem (we can always trust the gov’t in matters of health, right?):

Uranium is a metallic element which is highly toxic and radioactive. The highest level for uranium during 2008‑2012 was 23.3 ppb (the MCL is 30 ppb).

What could the uranium be doing to a person, you wonder?…/radionu…/regulation_techfactsheet.cfm

5. What health effects are associated with exposure to radionuclides from drinking water?
Exposure to radionuclides from drinking water results in the increased risk of cancer. The radioactive particles (alpha, beta and gamma particles) emitted by radionuclides are called “ionizing radiation” because they ionize (“destabilize”) nearby atoms as they travel through a cell or other material. In living tissue, this ionization process can damage chromosomes or other parts of the cell. This cellular damage can lead to the death of the cell or to unnatural reproduction of the cell. When a cell reproduces uncontrollably, it becomes a cancer. Certain elements accumulate in specific organs: radium (like calcium) accumulates in the bones and iodine accumulates in the thyroid.

For uranium, we must consider not only the carcinogenic health effects from its radioactive decay and the decay of its daughter products (“radiotoxicity”), but also damage to the kidneys from exposure to the uranium itself (“chemical toxicity”). Exposure to elevated uranium levels in drinking water has been shown to lead to changes in kidney function that are indicators of potential future kidney failure.

After all that…here’s what I can tell you. The lab I use states that with proper mineral balancing treatment, the elevated levels will go down. This is exactly what I have seen in my practice. I’ve seen my own levels come down by 50%, with no specific “detox/chelation” process whatsoever. Some hair analysis labs don’t test for uranium…I think that is a damn shame.