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Mexico's water authority Conagua has countered a report issued by Mexican university UNAM last week about the presence of radiation levels four times higher than those permitted for human consumption in water wells in the community of La Cantera in the central state of Guanajuato.
The federal authority said in a statement that the water in the wells in San José Iturbide municipality, Guanajuato, which includes the community of La Cantera, is fit for human consumption given that radioactive radon gas that might be present in the water is released almost completely during the purification process.
Conagua cited a press conference that took place in April of this year, where the authority, along with the national institute of nuclear research (ININ) and the federal commission for protection against sanitary risks (Cofepris), stated that the water in the La Cantera wells complied with the quality levels established by the NOM-127-SSA1-1994 Mexican official standard, according to the results of lab tests.
In the statement, Conagua also denied the existence of any links between the deaths of children and adults that have occurred in the municipality and the consumption of water from the wells.
Radon gas becomes a risk factor mostly in cold places where it can be accumulated in potable water due to lack of ventilation, which is not the case in countries with tropical or semi-tropical climates such as Mexico, adds the statement from Conagua.
Conagua said that it has been carrying out studies on the country's geological composition for 40 years in order to analyze its relation to water quality, and that so far there is no evidence of risks due to the presence of radon gas in the soil.
The federal water authority maintains that it continues to monitor the situation in the area along with ININ and Cofepris in order to act immediately in case any unusual event is detected.