Does Berkey Filter Radioactive Substances?

Yes, a Berkey Filter removes most radioactive substances by more than 98%. 

According to EWG’s Tap Water Database, over a dozen radioactive elements can be detected in American tap water. The most common are beryllium, radon, radium, strontium, tritium and uranium.

The methodology used to test the Berkey filter looked for alpha and beta particles, which are emitted by many radioactive substances. The lab tests found that the radiation-spiked tap water was safe to drink after passing through the standard black Berkey filter elements.

See the test results

Radioactive elements find their way into our drinking water in many different ways. Often, it is because they are present within rocks where well water is pumped up from. Other times they may come from industrial sources. The only way to know if your water contains radioactive substances is to have it tested, or to view existing test results from your community water supply.

Berkey water filters have been shown to remove most of the common radioactive contaminants from drinking water. The two elements we get asked about the most are Uranium and Radium, so let’s start with those.



Radioactive Substances Removed by Berkey 

Do Berkey Filters Remove Uranium?

Yes. Independent lab tests show that Berkeys filter out at least 98.7% of Uranium, combined (pCi/L) from drinking water. Results concluded that, after filtration through the black Berkey filter element, the uranium-spiked water was safe to drink.

Do Berkey Filters Remove Radium?

Yes. Independent lab tests show that Berkeys filter out at least 98.7% of Radium, combined (-226 & -228) from drinking water, making contaminated water safe to drink.

How do you test for radioactive substances in drinking water?

The three lab tests used to detect these radiological elements in drinking water are:

  • ● BF2 Gross Alpha Radiological Test
  • ● BF2 Gross Beta Radiological Test
  • ● BF2 Uranium Radiological Test

BF2 Gross Alpha Radiological Testing

The Gross Alpha test is used to measure the overall radioactivity in drinking water by detecting the alpha particles that radioactive elements emit as they decay. 

Methodology

Fifty gallons of tap water was spiked with Gross Alpha Standard Solution to have a final concentration of 100 ± 25 pCi/L. Then the spiked tap water was filtered through the Berkey filter element and tested.

Findings
The Gravity Black Berkey Filter reduced the Gross Alpha concentration in the tap water by at least 98.7 %. The EPA limit for Gross Alpha is 15 pCi/L. The water tested from the Gravity Black Berkey Filter meets the EPA requirements for drinking water.

BF2 Gross Alpha Radiological Test Results (PDF)

BF2 Gross Beta Radiological Testing

The Gross Beta test looks for beta particle activity from decaying radioactive elements as a measure of the total amount of radioactivity in a water sample. Beta-emitting substances include strontium-90, plutonium, tritium, and carbon-14.

Methodology

Fifty gallons of tap water was spiked with Gross Beta Standard Solution to have a final concentration of 100 ± 25 pCi/L, the spiked tap water was filtered through the filter element and tested. 

Findings

The Gravity Black Berkey Filter reduced the Gross Beta concentration in the tap water by at least 95.3 %. The EPA limit for Gross Beta is 15 pCi/L,. Filtered water from the  Gravity Black Berkey Filter meets the EPA requirements for drinking water.

BF2 Uranium Radiological Testing

Berkey-filtered water has also been tested specifically for Uranium, which breaks down into other radioactive elements, like radium and radon. This process is called decay, and alpha radiation is released. Both radium and radon continue to decay, releasing additional radiation. 

Methodology

Fifty gallons of tap water was spiked with Uranium Standard Solution to have a final concentration of 50 ± 2.5 µg/L. The spiked tap water was filtered through the Berkey filter element and tested.

Findings
The Gravity Black Berkey Filter reduced the Uranium concentration in the tap water by at least 97.0 %. The EPA limit for Uranium is 30 µg/L;. Water filtered through the Gravity Black Berkey Filter meets the EPA requirements for drinking water. 

Find out what else Berkeys filter!

 

 

What Other Contaminants Does Berkey Remove?

The list is extensive! Rest assured that that water your family is drinking has over 200 contaminants taken out. 

What Can't Berkey Remove?

Curious to know what's not filtered by Berkey?

Does Berkey Change the pH of Water?

Is your water acidic? basic? neutral? What's good for consumption and how does Berkey affect it?