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Concerns Grow Over Radioactive Pollutants in Pennsylvania

EMSL Analytical offers radiological testing services to determine the radioactive content of materials.


Last month, The New York Times published a story about Pennsylvania environmental regulators calling waste treatment and drinking water facilities to increase testing for radioactive materials.  The concerns have been prompted by a dramatic increase in natural gas drilling across the state.  Wastewater from some of these drilling sites ends up at treatment plants.
According to the article, the move follows a recent letter that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent to the state instructing it to perform testing for radioactivity within 30 days and to review the permits of state treatment plants handling the wastewater.
The acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has sent letters requiring additional testing to 14 public water authorities as well as requesting 25 wastewater treatment plants to begin analyzing samples for radium and uranium. 
“Heavier elements and radioactive elements can settle out during processing at wastewater treatment plants,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading radiological testing laboratory.  “These biosolids, or sludge, are sometimes sold by the treatment facilities for use as fertilizer.  If radioactive materials are in them they could cause environmental damage and enter the food chain.  The newspaper article details reports that one of these plants received wastewater that had levels of alpha radioactivity at approximately 2,157 times the drinking water standard.  These numbers are enough to concern anyone in the state or locations where these biosolids may eventually end up,” he continued.
EMSL Analytical provides radiological testing to regulators, industry and concerned individuals to help prevent unnecessary exposure to these potentially harmful radioactive elements.  The laboratory provides testing for a number of elements that include gross alpha, cesium and other radiological areas of concern.
To learn more about testing for radiological samples, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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