A study says York County is one of the high risk areas.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Federal geologists say wells in a band of counties in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are likely to contain potentially harmful levels of arsenic.

The two counties with the most people with possible exposure were Rockingham, in New Hampshire, and York, in Maine.

Scientists say the heightened risk comes from a combination of bedrock that contains traces of arsenic, alkaline ground water that is most likely to release it and growing numbers of households using private wells.

The study is in the June edition of “Environmental Science and Technology.”

The highest levels measured in the study were many times lower than concentrations linked to bladder cancers and other ailments in past studies overseas. Still, the researchers estimated that more than 100,000 people in the affected areas are likely to be drinking water that will exceed new federal standard for arsenic come 2006.

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