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Open AccessArticle

Accumulation Mechanism and Effects of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Filters of Bottled Mineral-Water Facilities

1
Research Center for Geochronology and Isotope Analysis, Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), Cheongju 28119, Korea
2
Department of Geology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
3
Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), Daejeon 34142, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(4), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040930
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Groundwater contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) through water–rock interactions. Although a recent study found that the NORMs are accumulated into the filters utilized in bottled mineral-water facilities, the accumulation mechanism and effects have rarely been studied. This study is, therefore, conducted to determine the mechanism of NORM accumulation in filters during water treatment processes and to provide a first estimate of the level of radiological risk for workers in five bottled-mineral-water facilities. The level of Rn-222 decreased dramatically at the first filters (FF) encountered after passing through water storage tanks, while surface radiation sharply increased. The increase of radioactivity on the FF was mainly caused by the accumulation of short-lived radon progenies through decay processes inside the water tanks. Although the estimated radiological risk was lower under certain circumstances compared to the public dose limit of 1 mSv yr−1, the radiological risk should be properly managed in case of direct and/or close handling of the used filters during filter replacement procedures. View Full-Text
Keywords: naturally occurring radioactive materials; bottled-mineral-water facility; accumulation mechanism; filter; radiological risk naturally occurring radioactive materials; bottled-mineral-water facility; accumulation mechanism; filter; radiological risk
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Shin, W.; Jeong, J.; Han, J.-H.; Chang, B.-U.; Choung, S. Accumulation Mechanism and Effects of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Filters of Bottled Mineral-Water Facilities. Water 2020, 12, 930.

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