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Wednesday, 20 December, 2000, 17:13 GMT
Public warned over radioactive watches
radiation sign
Radiation was found in part of the watch strap
A batch of watches which may have been sold to Britons visiting French hypermarkets has been found to contain radioactive metal.

The straps of the 4,500 watches sold by Carrefour up to November 9 this year are contaminated with Cobalt 60.

The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) is offering to come and collect the offending watches from UK homes to "get them out of circulation".

It fears that UK residents may have bought them as presents while visiting northern France.

The alarm was quite literally triggered when a worker at a nuclear power plant bought a watch, then tried to take it into work.

Triggered alarm

The device set off the alarms in the plant designed to test for contamination.

The radioactive metal is thought to have got into the manufacturing process in Hong Kong, and they have all been withdrawn from sale by Carrefour, one of France's most popular hypermarket chains.

NRPB spokesman Liz Francis said: "It is a very low dosage which is within legal limits. Only if it was worn day in , day out for years would you be at risk of developing cancer.

"But, anyone who bought a watch in Carrefour in France should take it off, put it in a drawer and we can pick it up from you. Or you can bring it into your nearest NRPB centre.

"It's important they are taken out of circulation. People should be aware that they may have bought a watch that is radioactive."

The watches bear the serial number T65007.3.

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06 Oct 99 | Medical notes
Radiation sickness
13 Oct 00 | Health
Nuclear birth fears eased
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