Beryllium is found in the earths crust mostly in igneous volcanic rocks. Safe Home offers a couple kits that provide drinking water testing for beryllium in city or well supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Volatiles

Parameter Name: Beryllium

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Beryllium is a chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. It is a relatively rare element in the universe, usually occurring as a product of the spallation of larger atomic nuclei that have collided with cosmic rays. Beryllium is most often found in the mineral’s beryl and bertrandite. It is found in the Earth’s crust and mostly in igneous (volcanic) rocks. Beryllium is a metal found in natural deposits as ores containing other elements, and in some precious stones such as emeralds and aquamarine. The greatest use of beryllium is in making metal alloys for nuclear reactors and the aerospace industry. Beryllium metal, beryllium alloys, and beryllium oxide are the commercially important end products of beryllium processing, respectively representing 10%, 75%, and 15% of the total usage of beryllium. Beryllium metal is used primarily in the aerospace, weapons, and nuclear industries. Beryllium alloy, mostly beryllium–copper, is used in the aerospace, electronics, and mechanical industries due to its unique properties. It has been detected at low concentrations in discharges from weapons manufacturing. Beryllium oxide is used for some ceramic applications, principally in electronics and microelectronics. The primary source of beryllium compounds in water appears to be release from coal burning, and other industries using beryllium. Only a few beryllium compounds are soluble, and beryllium is primarily detected in surface water but at very low concentrations. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for beryllium, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for beryllium will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for metals can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

Short-term exposure to high levels of beryllium can potentially cause serious health challenges. When inhaled it can cause inflammation of the lungs but is less toxic when ingested by drinking water. The long-term effects of inhaled beryllium have the potential to cause damage to the bones, lungs and can lead to cancer. Ingesting beryllium in drinking water may result in the development of chronic beryllium disease, characterized by the formation of granulomas. These granulomas result from an immune reaction, primarily based on cell-mediated immunity. A genetic component to chronic beryllium disease susceptibility has also been identified.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

You have completed the drinking water testing process, what Is the next step? Ways to remove beryllium from your water is reverse osmosis (RO), water softener, and activated alumina. In a reverse osmosis filtration system, water flows through a membrane, filtering out some of the molecules within the water, including beryllium. These molecules, plus some water, are flushed into your home’s wastewater system. The treated water is stored in a small storage tank until needed. Solids in the water can sometimes clog the membrane, so a sediment prefilter should also be installed. A water softener uses an “ion exchange” system to filter out contaminant molecules from the drinking water. These systems filter the whole house’s water as it comes into the home and is commonly used to treat hard water. Water softeners are not proven to thoroughly remove beryllium but could help if the concentration level is high. In this process, well water passes through an activated filter, typically a fiberglass canister. The beryllium sticks to the alumina, as well as other contaminants, such as arsenic and uranium, and are discarded with the used filter. Activated alumina can be used with both point-of-use and whole house treatment systems. If you need to treat a large amount of water, such as for business use, activated alumina may be more cost effective. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

File Under: Metals

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