Edited from a Press Release

Beginning in April, 2017, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has been testing “brine” from conventional and horizontal oil/gas wells as well as brine coming to Ohio from out of state wells. The results revealed that all sources of waste contain high levels of Radium-226 and Radium-228, both cancer-inducing forms of radioactivity. Radium is especially treacherous because it is soluble in water. The human body treats it like calcium and deposits it into the skeleton where it causes painful debilitating tumors, broken bones and cancer that often metastasizes into other parts of the body. About half of all bone cancers result in death (NIH).


ODNR tests show combined Radium-226 and Radium-228 in all 151 samples. 148 of these samples exceed the 120 pCi/L Environmental Discharge Limit.

Julie Weatherington-Rice is extremely concerned that the laboratory analysis processes used for these samples are old and designed for drinking water. In comparison studies with more modern analytical process it has been found that using these old processes can report numbers that are biased low. These numbers would be higher if more modern analysis were to be used.

Some Ohio brine samples had combined Radium 226 and 228 levels as high as 9,602 Picocuries per liter.Oil and gas brine from conventional wells is currently being spread on roads as a deicer or for dust suppression.

One deicer product, AquaSalina, made from conventional brine, has also been tested by ODNR and ODH and exhibits the same dangerously high levels of Radium. Numerous ODOT Counties, and County, City and Township Road Departments are using this product all winter.


Jenny Morgan, Citizens Pollution Watch calls on all Ohio road departments to immediately stop using all oil and gas brine and brine-based products on the roads. While this latest round of radiation testing shows extremely high levels of Radium 226 and 228 members of the brine working group have been calling for the banning of road spreading of brine for 30 or more years.

Roxanne Groff, Athens County’s Future Action Network emphasizes how important it is that AquaSalina which is sold on the open market and is available at Lowes stores be pulled from the shelves and a recall notice be issued. ODNR has long maintained that brine spreading is safe because the waste used is produced by conventional wells and not unconventional horizontal wells. 



  1. ODNR RELEASE (109.43 KB)