With NYC Mayor Eric Adams now admitting the recent nuclear survival PSA video was released out of fear of a Russian nuclear missile strike against New York City, we’ve decided to address a critical, practical topic for people who may find themselves in the fallout zone: How do you remove radiation from water?
The answer to that question is actually simpler than you might suppose, and I cover it in the first section of today’s podcast below. What most people don’t realize is that water itself can’t be made highly radioactive. H2O is just hydrogen and oxygen, of course, and although there are heavier isotopes of oxygen (with atomic masses of 17 and 18), they are stable and not radioactive. They can be used as isotopic markers in medical scans, but they don’t emit radiation themselves.
When you realize that H2O can’t be made radioactive, you come to understand that what makes water radioactive is the contaminants suspended in the water, not the water molecules.
If you mix powdered cesium-137 into water, for example, all the water seems radioactive. But it’s really just the cesium-137, not the H2O. Cesium is an element (Cs) just like oxygen is an element. If you remove the cesium, you remove the contaminant that’s radioactive, and you end up with clean H2O.
Thus, you don’t need a special “anti-radiation” water filter to remove radioactive elements from water. Most high-quality filters will do the trick, as they remove lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, pesticides and other toxic elements or molecules as well.