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Pesticides, Arsenic, and Radon in Ground Water
Ground water hazards are found as naturally occuring conditions and as contaminants introduced by human activities. In 1989, the MGS published the results of a three-year study of the effect of agricultural practices on ground water quality (Maine Geological Survey, Open-File Report 89-2, Final Report - Pesticides in Ground Water Study). The results indicate that while pesticide residues are present in the ground water in some areas of Maine, concentrations are low.
Radon, a decay product of uranium, is a radioactive gas present in nearly all ground water in Maine. It tends to be concentrated in granite and highly metamorphosed rocks. The gas diffuses into ground water as it slowly flows through fractures in the bedrock. When heated or agitated, the gas readily diffuses from the water into the air. The MGS, in association with workers from other state agencies and from the University of Maine, has published or been co-author of several papers pertaining to radon, geology, and human health in Maine.
Last updated on June 21, 2012
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