Dairies Dump Radioactive Milk

NEVADA - Two dairy farms have dumped milk after the discovery of radioactive polonium-210 in 25 drinking water wells around Fallon, 60 miles east of Reno.
calendar icon 6 August 2007
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Officials from Sorensen's Dairy and Oasis Dairy said they will cease selling milk until their supplies are tested by the Food and Drug Administration.

The move comes after Friday's release of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey that found the naturally occuring radioactive isotope in 24 private wells and one public well. Polonium-210 is known to cause cancer in humans.

Fallon farmer Bret Sorensen said he began dumping 6,000 gallons of milk Friday morning at the request of the Dairy Farmers of America, the cooperative to whom he sells milk.

"A milk quality-control person from the DFA ... said one of the wells on the dairy was compromised and it would be best to quit taking our milk," Sorensen told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I agree with (the) decision. It is better to be safe than sorry."

Dr. Anette Rink, a supervisor at the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said she sent milk samples to an FDA laboratory in Massachusetts to be tested and she expects results back by Monday.

Rink said milk is not normally sampled for polonium-210, and she doesn't expect the Fallon samples to test positive for the isotope.

"Milk is contaminated at a significantly lower level than water because the cow filters the metals," Rink said.

Source: CapitalPress
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