23 August 1999
BSE dump leaks toxic dust
HEALTH inspectors are to examine the remains of cattle slaughtered during the BSE crisis after receiving complaints that contaminated waste could be leaking.
A team from the Environment Agency will scrutinise the storage of 50,000 tonnes of cattle remains stored in warehouses at Barkston Heath airfield, Lincolnshire.
A local councillor reported that he had seen dead pigeons and rats in the store, indicating that gaps in the walls could lead to contaminated dust escaping outside.
It has been suggested that the dust from the cattle remains could be ingested by humans who might then contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of BSE.
But such a scenario was rejected by a spokesman for the Environment Agency, who described the risk posed by the material as “negligible”.
There are 12 other dumps in the UK storing almost 12,000 tonnes of rendered carcasses from cattle at risk from BSE.