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radium question


I would appreciate your help responding to the following question which was 
sent to me.  If you have specific experience with this type of exposure and 
risk analysis, please email Chris directly.

Bill Field

College of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
University of Iowa

I am looking for information on the effects of radium exposure, i.e., whether 
or not radium can be absorbed through the skin (i.e., through bathing, etc.), 
whether irrigating lawns and crops with radium-contaminated water results in 
any risk of radium being released into the air and then into the human body, 
and if so, at what levels exposure becomes a problem.  I am aware of the EPA 
MCL standards, but am wondering if there is any more specific information 
available.  I have recently become aware that the water supply in the area in 
which I live and work during the field season has had consistently high 
levels of radium 226 and 228 (averaging 12.5 pCi/L over the last year or so) 
-- hence, my concern.

Thanks in advance,
Chris Gebauer
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