July 26, 2010 - Radioactivity levels in state drinking water wells are much higher than previously known and at-risk wells cover a bigger slice of the Garden State, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Despite significant adverse public health implications of the findings, the state has not taken steps to alert or protect affected populations.
Naturally occurring radiation has long been a known presence in New Jersey's well water. But, according to new scientific findings presented at the May 7, 2010 meeting of the state Drinking Water Quality Institute (DWQI), the extent and depth of radioactivity levels are grounds for renewed concern
A February 2009 DWQI report estimated that more than 211,000 people are exposed to an individual cancer risk which is 600 times the acceptable risk level. DWQI recommended that the state adopt a drinking water MCL for radon 222 but it was not acted upon and no follow-up action is scheduled.