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Uranium is a naturally occurring element in groundwater and is more common in some of the mountain areas of the state. However, there is little information on where uranium may be found. Uranium gets into drinking water when groundwater dissolves minerals that contain uranium. The amount of uranium in well water will vary depending upon its concentration in bedrock. However, even within areas that have bedrock types containing uranium, there is a large degree of variation within relatively small areas. Levels of naturally occurring radiation in water are not likely to be high in shallow wells. The potential exists for deep bedrock wells in New Hampshire and Maine to have uranium, although most will be very low. High levels of uranium indicate the potential for radon and radium also to be present.

Health Affects:

Naturally occurring uranium has very low levels of radioactivity.  The most common ways for uranium to enter your body are through your food and drinking water. Uranium exposure can damage your kidneys. Kidneys help you stay healthy by:

  • Removing waste from your blood,

  • Making red blood cells,

  • Controlling your blood pressure, and

  • Keeping your bones healthy. Over time, damage to your kidneys can lead to organ failure, which can be dangerous, even life-threatening.

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