Medical isotope caused radioactivity at treatment plant

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An initial investigation at a regional sewage treatment plant in Ottawa indicates a commonly-used medical isotope is the source of low levels of radioactivity found in shipments of biosolids from the plant.

Two loads of the material, which were being sent to a New York company for composting, were stopped at the border on Jan. 29 because radioactive levels were too high. Two more truckloads of the sludge have also tested positive. The material has since been placed in a secure location.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission says the identified isotope is normally associated with waste from hospitals or people who have undergone medical treatment. Officials are insuring the public there is no risk to the health and safety of Canadians or the environment.


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