Agencies map natural radiation in Vermont

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(Host) Vermonters have a new tool to help them understand where naturally occurring radiation might be encountered in the state. A series of maps was developed by the Vermont Geological Survey at the Agency of Natural Resources.

The agency decided a guide was necessary after elevated levels of radioactivity were found in private wells in Colchester and Milton two years ago. Larry Becker is the State Geologist.

(Becker) “Basically the maps that we’ve created summarize the existing radioactivity data that we have from airborne surveys, ground-based surveys and public water supply data. And in simplest form, the maps are an indication of the presence of elevated radioactivity, relative to surrounding areas. And it’s a snapshot of what we know now. But its really an indirect indication of whether there might be radioactivity in somebody’s drinking water, because really the data is about looking for radioactivity in rocks and soil.”

(Host) Becker says the maps can be helpful if a person is trying to decide whether or not to have a private well tested. He says that there are no short-term health risks from the elevated radioactive levels, but he agrees with the Health Department’s recommendation that all private wells be tested every five years.

More information is available on ANR’s .

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