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.
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.
- Packaged foods in unopened cans, jars, bottles and bags will be safe to eat. Wash the outside of the container before opening it.
- Foods covered and stored in freezers, refrigerators and pantries should be safe as well.
- Produce from gardens and orchards, or wild foods, should not be eaten for now, until health authorities say it is safe.
- Most water supplies come from protected underground wells, or large bodies of water where any contamination is going to be diluted and should be safe to drink.
- If you have any doubt, do not eat or drink suspect foods or food products or feed them to your pets or livestock.
- For those in the affected areas, continue to wash hands often, take daily showers and take shoes off before coming inside. Help children (and pets) do the same.
- Talk to children to let them know that everyone in government and in our communities are working together to make sure that children and their pets and families are safe.
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.