Radiation risk makes Mayapuri unsafe: Greenpeace (Second Lead)

May 14th, 2010 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Mayapuri area in West Delhi is “not a safe zone for human beings”, environment organisation Greenpeace said Friday after its team visited the scrapyard where a person died from radiation last month.
“The investigation has identified hotspots with more than 5,000 times natural background radiation,” a Greenpeace expert said after the team’s visit.

“A team investigated the shop and its surrounding areas in Mayapuri in which the first radiation leak took place. Two radiation experts, Stan Vincent from Belgium and Jan Vande Putte from Britain, also accompanied our team and investigated the area,” the organisation said.

“With three radioactive detector machines, we found out that radiation exposure is still high in the area,” a Greenpeace spokesperson told IANS.

The Greenpeace has marked some hot spots in the area and has explained to the people to avoid these places.

“We have put a tape on the shop and have painted the hot spots in white cement so that the people around can watch out for them. We have also contacted the authorities and informed them, so that the government can go ahead with the measures,” said Karuna Raina of the Greenpeace.

The government had earlier given a clean chit to the scrapyard.

“Only 37 people have been scanned for radiation exposure in the area, which is not enough. Residents of the entire area should be scanned for radiation exposure. Mayapuri area is not a safe zone for human beings to reside in as it still has a high-level of radiation exposure,” the spokesperson said.

Police said the source of the leak last month was a radioactive gamma cell containing Cobalt 60, auctioned as scrap by Delhi University’s chemistry department two months ago.

Six people exposed to the radioactive Cobalt 60 are still undergoing anti-radiation treatment in hospital.

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