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Radioactivity in drinking water

The Euratom Community rules on radioactivity in drinking water.

The Euratom Drinking Water Directive (2013/51/Euratom) provides a framework for controlling radioactivity in drinking water and the radiation dose received from the consumption of different forms of drinking water.

The directive applies to tap water and to water in bottles or containers intended for human consumption. It does not apply to natural mineral waters and to small private supplies. It deals both with natural and artificial radionuclides and lays down general principles for monitoring and technical details, such as frequencies of sampling and analysis and measuring methods.

The directive also lays down values for radon, tritium and the so-called 'indicative dose', which covers many other radionuclides. The values have an indicative function, they are not limits. Exceeding a value should not be regarded as a health risk without examining the situation more closely. A thorough investigation may – if warranted – lead to remedial action and would require that the public is informed.