Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 12:04 UK

Radiation warning for laboratory

A medical laboratory in County Durham has been reprimanded for failing to comply with requirements for handling radioactive substances.

Gordon Laboratory Group, based in Sedgefield, has been issued with two Environment Agency enforcement notices.

The agency found four specific failures, including a lack of adequate training for staff. No evidence of environmental harm was discovered.

A spokesman for the lab said the failures had now been rectified.

Environment Agency inspector Stuart Page said: "The company is clearly failing well short of the high standards we expect to see used where radioactive substances are concerned."

Clinical testing

The firm failed to appoint suitably qualified people to supervise and advise on the radioactive substances and to have adequate arrangements in place to prevent and detect radioactive contamination.

It also failed to report information to the Environment Agency on releases into the environment.

Laboratory chief executive Chris Gordon said: "We have rectified the non-conformance with our permit and I am now satisfied everything is as it should be.

"There has never been any danger to the staff or public as the levels of radiation used in our clinical testing is very low."

The firm has been given two months to make significant improvements or face prosecution.

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