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Tiny Amounts Of Radiation Found In Vermont Milk

May 20, 1986

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) _ Traces of radioactive iodine have been found in samples of milk taken in Vermont, state officials said Monday, blaming last month’s nuclear accident in the Soviet Union.

Raymond McCandless, director of occupational and radiological health, said the amount found in samples taken Friday and Saturday was ″very, very tiny.″

″We want to make sure people know that we found it, but at the same time, we want people to know that the amounts are so small,″ he said. ″There is no problem drinking the milk; there are no restrictions.″

McCandless said the samples, taken from a bulk tank at a farm in central Vermont, found iodine-131 levels of 35 picocuries per liter in one sample and 43 picocuries per liter in a second sample.

The federal government says there is no need for precautions or restrictions of any type until the levels reach 15,000 picocuries per liter, he said.

McCandless said the milk posed no health risk, even to infants and nursing mothers.

The radiation originated at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Soviet Union, officials said.

McCandless said the radiation ″comes down in the rainwater and is deposited on the grass; the cow eats the grass; the contamination is on the grass and it ends up in the milk.″

The amount of radioactive iodine in the milk will drop significantly before the milk reaches consumers, he said.

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