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Radiation Concerns Community after Idaho Wildfire Burns Mining Sites

EMSL Analytical offers radiological testing services to determine the radioactive content of materials to protect people’s health and the environment.


According to the Huffington Post, a wildfire in east-central Idaho has burned three former mining sites that contain traces of radioactive thorium and uranium. The conflagration is now approaching a fourth mining site, although officials have reported that the risk to human health is low.

The radiation in the mines compounds an already difficult situation: the blaze has ignited 333,000 acres of pine woodlands and forced a mandatory evacuation of 400 homes.

The sites that pose a potential radiological threat are a former uranium mine and two abandoned gold mines. Officials reported that the surface radiation at these sites measured several times the normal background level.

Authorities plan to take air samples to determine if the burning mines have caused radioactive hazards to residents in the area.

Exposure to radiation increases one’s risk of developing cancer and may also cause genetic mutations that may be passed on to children.

“Once radiation has been released into the environment, it has the potential to remain and spread over a much larger area due to various weather conditions,” states Garrett Ray, RSO, EMSL’s Radiological Laboratory Manager. “EMSL Analytical uses Gamma Spectroscopy and other radiological analyses to test for radiation within environmental samples.”

To learn more about testing for radiological samples, please visit, call (800)220-3675, or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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