Field Lab Tests on Some Crops Show Excess Contamination

Area residents still advised to take precautions

*** THIS IS AN EXERCISE: THIS IS NOT A REAL EVENT. ***

For Immediate Release:
June 4, 2009 • 04:00 p.m.

Media Contact:
Communication Office
802-863-7281
healthvermont.gov

Burlington, VT – Health officials are cautioning residents not to eat, feed to animals, or offer for sale any foods or crops grown in the area from Route 7 west to the New York border between Arlington, Vermont in the south and Wallingford, Vermont in the north.

This afternoon, initial results from some samples tested by the mobile laboratory stationed in the area show radiation contamination above normal background levels, but these findings must be confirmed with additional analysis. Specific samples have now been sent to the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory in Burlington for analysis for radioactivity.

“We continue to ask area residents to follow the same instructions and take the same precautions until we have more precise information about contamination in our state as a result of the dirty bomb blasts in New York on Sunday,” said the Health Department’s radiological health expert Bill Irwin, ScD. “Thank you for your patience as we work to do this.”

General Precautions for Rutland, Bennington & Addison Counties
For now, the Health Department is advising people in Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties to avoid eating food or food products that have been out in the open, and may have been contaminated by very low levels of radiation.

If you were in the Albany, New York area at the time of the blasts, call the Health Department at 800-439-8550 or dial 2-1-1. You may call as well if you spent significant time in the Albany area since the blasts occurred at around 10:00 a.m. on, Sunday May 31, to talk about any actions you should take and any health concerns you may have.

Do Not Travel to Albany City, Albany and Rensselaer Counties
New York has seen significant disruption. Vermonters are still advised not to travel into Rensselaer and Albany Counties in New York or to the City of Albany. Additional information about public health or environmental health in New York is available from those agencies.

For More Information –
Stay tuned to radio and TV for updates and announcements. For updates, extensive additional information and resources, go to healthvermont.gov, or dial 2-1-1 for assistance in any language.

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