The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has appealed to regulators and players in the water industry not to ignore the mandatory water quality tests for the radiation status of water in the country.
This, the Commission said, would help avert any injury to the internal organs of consumers as a result of long-term exposure to radiological substances.
The Manager of the Environmental Radiation Protection Center of the Radiation Protection Institute of GAEC, Dr. Oscar Adukpo, in an interview, noted that radiation exists in the environment including water.
Dr. Adukpo said, for this reason, the government has come out with a radiological quality requirement in addition to other requirements for water quality tests.
“Therefore, the specific requirements under the radiological quality test are Gross Alpha and Gross Beta with a permissible range of 0.1Bq/L and 1.0B/L, respectively,’’ he added.
Dr. Adukpo cautioned that although these were low radiation levels, once they get into the body in appreciable volumes, they were injurious to human health.
“They decay and accumulate in the liver and other internal organs over a long period, causing damage and could result in cancer. It is therefore important to screen water for these radionuclides to make sure they are not above the acceptable range”, he noted.
Dr. Adukpo however, lamented that although the test was one of the requirements in addition to other requirements by Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), only a few water sachet and bottling companies ensure compliance.
“Some companies realizing the effect of radiation on humans, bring their water to be tested to ensure compliance” he disclosed.