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Radiation particles on beach are risk to public, says report

RADIOACTIVE particles found at a beach pose a potential risk to public health and action should be taken to clean it up, a report has found.

DALGETY BAY: Contamination was found on beach at Fife.
DALGETY BAY: Contamination was found on beach at Fife.

While investigations have concluded there was unlikely to be a link between cancer rates and radiation contamination at the Dalgety Bay site in Fife, the report did identify possible health risks through skin contact or ingestion.

The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) was commissioned by the Scottish Government following the discovery of the radioactive particles and high-activity radiation in the area in 2011. It is thought to date back to instruments from Second World War aircraft dumped at the site.

Investigations have also been carried out by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

COMARE has recommended that the Scottish Government acts to ensure parts of the beach are remediated as soon as possible. It also recommended that radiation monitoring and "radioactive object recovery work", presently undertaken by the MoD, should continue.

Meanwhile, it said warnings should be added to signs already on the beach to stop children digging there.

The committee's chairman, Alex Elliott, said it was unlikely the radiation was connected to cases of liver cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma reported in the area from 2000-2009. But he said the radiation did pose "a potential risk to public health - and as such, steps should be taken as soon as possible to remediate the affected areas".

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