An Italian court has ordered the recall of 10,000 tonnes of wood fuel pellets imported from Lithuania over fears that they could have dangerous levels of radioactivity, newspapers reported on Sunday.
The alarm was raised after someone in the northern Aosta Valley region, who had bought the pellets, sent them for analysis because they did not burn well.
The results showed that they contained caesium 137, a highly toxic radioactive substance normally produced by a nuclear explosion or from the combustion of a nuclear reactor.
The contaminated pellets themselves are not dangerous to humans, said Salvatore Aprile of the Aosta Valley court: the dangers comes from the ashes and the smoke produced when they are burned. The court ordered their recall on Saturday.
The pellets at the centre of the alert were imported from Lithuania last autumn and were sold in 11 regions in the north and south of Italy.
(c) 2009 AFP
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