Geology and Health

SpringVermont's geology contributes to many facets of human health.  Bedrock, glacial materials, and soils each have positive and/or negative impacts on water quality and air quality. Healthy human bodies require minerals and elements (ex. salt, calcium, iron) which are transferred from the geologic environment through the food chain. Some geologic materials may filter contaminants so they do not reach groundwater supplies. Geologic materials may also be the source of airborne contaminants or of naturally-occurring elements of concern in drinking water, including radionuclides and arsenic.

The Geological Survey and our partners work on geology and health issues related to arsenic, radionuclides, radon, nitrates, floride, manganese , asbestos and other contaminants. The investigations focus on source, fate and transport of materials within earth systems and the impact on both human and environmental health. The goal is to reduce exposure of Vermonters to chemical and mineral contaminants. View list of current projects and our process for aquifer characterization. 


Regional Compilation of sources of groundwater contamination (arsenic and radionuclides), Kim (2014)

Arsenic Contamination in Vermont's Private Wells, Middlebury College Env Studies 401 Senior Seminar and the VT Geological Survey (2010)
Accompanying map

Co-authored references  on arsenic in bedrock aquifers may be download through the Middlebury College site. 

RADIONUCLIDES - Publications and Abstracts

Bennington/North Bennington (PFOA and aquifer characterization)
East Montpelier
Student theses from Middlebury College


PFOA updates and work by DEC
Vermont Department of Health fact sheets :  arsenic, lead, nitrates, radioactivity (alpha radiation, uranium, radium, radon), hardness 
Arsenic in Groundwater, US Geological Survey
Geology and Health Division, Geological Society of America
Center for Disease Control
Vermont rules and regulations pertaining to contaminants in waste, drinking water, surface water and air.
Geology and groundwater contamination by PFOA: its subsurface.  

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Vermont Geological Survey

Main Building - 2nd Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3902

Vermont Geological Survey Contact Information