Abstract: A set of 317 samples collected from wells throughout New York State (excluding Long Island) from 2003 through 2008 was used to assess the distribution of radon gas in drinking water. Previous studies have documented high concentrations of radon in groundwater from granitic and metamorphic bedrock, but there have been only limited characterizations of radon in water from sedimentary rock and unconsolidated sand-and-gravel deposits in New York. Approximately 8% of the samples from bedrock wells exceed 89 Bq L-1 (eight times the proposed regulatory limit), but only 2% of samples from sand-and-gravel wells exceed 44 Bq L-1. Specific metamorphic and sedimentary rock formations in New York are associated with the high radon concentrations, indicating that specific areas of New York could be targeted with efforts to reduce the risk of exposure to radon in groundwater. Additionally, radon in groundwater from the sand-and-gravel aquifers was found to be directly correlated to radon in indoor air when assessed by county.
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An assessment of radon in groundwater in New York State