Experts Confirm Harmful Radiation at Bulgarian Beach

Society » ENVIRONMENT | September 2, 2010, Thursday // 16:14| Views: | Comments: 0
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Experts Confirm Harmful Radiation at Bulgarian Beach: Experts Confirm Harmful Radiation at Bulgarian Beach The elevated radiation on a southern Bulgarian beach is attributed to lingering waste from a local, long-closed, mine containing uranium. File photo

The sand from the Bulgarian Black coast bay "Vromos" is radioactive and harmful for beach goers, according to experts from the Environment and Health Ministries.

The news was announced Thursday by the Governor of the Region of Burgas, Konstantin Grebenarov, who was the recipient of the experts' letter.

The letter asks local authorities to make people aware of the results and place signs warning visitors to not use the beach.

The radiation level is twice higher than the norm for the southern Black Sea coast, but the danger is not in the air, rather in the sand which has uranium and radium. They came from the now-closed nearby mine which deposited large amounts of radioactive waste in the bay between 1954 and 1977.

The experts further point out the sea water is not radioactive, but a couple of days stay at the beach could be harmful.

The increase of radiation levels in the area over the last three years is attributed to some waste that has not been completely removed.

The Governor says the warning signs, placed at "Vromos," have been removed by local owners, but will be mounted again.

In the beginning of August, Grebenarov, issued an order banning the use of the beach located between the municipalities of the city of Burgas and the town of Sozopol, near the town of Chernomorets. At the time Grebenarov said he made the decision after consulting with experts from the Health Ministry and the Environmental Agency.

The order triggered large-scale protests among hotel and land owners around the bay, saying the order serves business interests and aims at lowering property prices in the area.

A separate measurement, done by the Executive Environmental Agency in mid-August, yielded the same results.

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Tags: radiation, Vromos, Konstantin Grebenarov, mine waste, uranium, radium
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