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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. |
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Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element found in ground water throughout the United States, including New Jersey and, in particular, beneath the central and southern parts of the state.† It is absorbed by the body and incorporated into bone, where it can cause osteosarcoma if a person is exposed over a long period of time.†
On average in
Drinking water studies in
††††††††† The health study released today reviewed cases of osteosarcoma diagnosed from 1979-1998 and water tested from 1997-2000 to determine if a higher risk level existed in those areas of the state where ground water was found to exceed drinking water standards for radiological contamination. The study included a total of 75 cases over a 20-year period.
The study showed that males in parts of central and southern
In conducting the study, the department used data from community water system surveys conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Geological Survey.† The study examined 117 community water systems and subsystems serving 1.4 million people in 10 counties:
The federal government has established maximum contamination levels for radiological contamination. New Jersey has been monitoring and testing water suppliers for many years, requiring water systems to undertake remediation efforts if they exceed the standards.
Genetic susceptibility may contribute to up to half of all osteosarcomas.† The cancer can also be caused by exposure to certain medical treatments.†† To view a copy of the report, please visit the department web site at www.nj.gov/health/eoh/radium.pdf.
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Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360