Atomic energy body says no public health risk from radioactive material detected in garbage

The Greek Atomic Energy Commission (EEAE) said on Monday there are no public health concerns following the discovery of traceable quantities of radioactive material in household garbage last Friday.

The commission said the radioactivity likely came from the excretions of a person who has recently undergone medical treatment involving radioactive ingredients (e.g. treatment of tumors in the thyroid gland), which ended up as household waste.

Attica’s waste management organization, which found the radioactive waste, said the first quantity was detected in a garbage truck entering Fylis’s waste management unit last Friday. The isotope detected was Iodine-131, at a quantity of 10mSv/h (when the limit is 5mSv/h). A seperate garbage truck unloading at Metamorfosi was found to be carrying radioisotope Indium-111 at a quantity of 19mSv/h (limit is 5mSv/h).

In both cases, the relevant authorities of the environment ministry were notified and EEAE said it has given instructions for the management of this waste which has been isolated in a secure area.