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Radium is a radioactive metal occurring naturally. Generally, low levels exist in soil, water, rocks, coal, plant, and food.
Your risk for serious complications increases if you live close to uranium mines and plants that process ore. Another source of exposure is burning coal or other fuel.
You can be exposed by swallowing food and water contaminated with radium or by inhaling it as part of dust in the air. Up to 20 percent or more may enter your bloodstream and accumulate in your bones. Absorbed radium can also emit radiation and damage surrounding tissues.
Serious concerns also arise when radium breaks down, creating radon. In these cases, radon can diffuse into homes and other buildings. Often, individuals test for radon before purchasing a home. Private well water may also become contaminated.
Several long-term complications can develop with long-term exposure to radium. These include:
The medical treatments costs for cancer are high. If your cancer is caused by radium, you may want to contact a lawyer who can determine if some company is responsible for your exposure.
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