Radiological Health

The Radiological Health Program works to protect the public and the environment from unnecessary exposure to radiation and radioactive substances. Staff inspect x-ray instruments, provide licenses to x-ray facilities, manage the statewide radiological environmental surveillance program, and coordinate radiological environmental tests by the Health Department Laboratory.

Radiological health staff have been active participants in the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, Vermont’s nuclear power plant. Staff work with state emergency preparedness teams to develop and test safety protocols related to Vermont Yankee.

Radiological Emergencies

Radiological health staff are also equipped and trained to protect public health in other radiological and nuclear emergencies and to support other State agencies engaged operationally. Prevention starts with using the State’s Preventive Radiological Nuclear Detection Program which prepares law enforcement and the Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team (VHMRT) to identify and ban illegal or improper uses of radioactive materials. It follows with training and equipping the VHMRT with tools and skills to respond to and minimize the consequences from radiological and nuclear incidents.

For radiological emergencies contact the VHMRT at 800-641-5005.

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission Agreement State

    Following a letter of intent by Governor Shumlin in July 2015, the Health Department is applying to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to become an Agreement State. If this application is approved, most persons who possess and use radioactive materials will become licensees of the State of Vermont. The Health Department plans to file the draft application in early 2019, with an anticipated complete Agreement in late 2019.

    Learn more about Agreement States

    Other Electromagnetic Fields and Radiations

    Radiological health staff provide guidance to Vermonters on non-ionizing electromagnetic fields such as that from electric power transmission lines, non-ionizing radiations like radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices like smart meters and cell telephones, ultraviolet radiation, and lasers. See the next two sections for more information.

    Additional Resources

    Contact Information

    Radiological Health Program
    802-863-7220 or
    800-439-8550 (toll-free in Vermont)
    Fax: 802-863-7483

    In This Section

    Radiation is a form of energy that is present all around us. There are different types of radiation. All may cause us harm with strong exposures.

    Laboratories can test water and soil to find out if they contain certain radioactive materials.

    Radioactive materials give off a form of energy that travels in waves or particles called radiation. When a person comes in contact with radiation, the energy gets into the body.

    The Radiological Health Program evaluates and manages the actual and potential public health impacts on Vermonters from activities at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, VT.

    X-ray instruments are insepected regularly, and x-ray facilities are licensed to protect the public from unnecessary exposure to radiation.