MORE than 80 radioactive particles have been discovered over three days by scientists investigating contamination at Dalgety Bay in Fife.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) found 17 radioactive particles on Friday, 33 on Saturday and a further 31 on Sunday. Contamination in the area is believed to originate from radioactive aeroplane dials, burned and buried in reclaimed land. Since 1990, 1,700 radioactive items have been found.
Dr James Gemmill, radioactive substances manager for Sepa said: “The number of finds is higher than we anticipated, and therefore this work is progressing more slowly than we expected. Each find is being returned to the lab for further assessment.”
According to information from Sepa, skin contact with the particles could cause radiation burns, inhaling them could damage the lungs and ingesting them could harm the digestive system. Exposure may increase the risk of cancer.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The area must be cleaned up without delay. The Scottish Government continues to work with Sepa to fully understand the extent of the contamination – a situation that is worryingly developing by the day – and identify the source.”
Friends of the Earth chief executive Stan Blackley said: “It is extremely worrying that we don’t know exactly what is buried at the beach, how much of it there is, and how dangerous it is to public health.
“What we need to see now is a full site decontamination.”