New Vision (Kampala)

17 November 2012

Uganda: Imported Cars Safe From Radioactivity - UNBS

The Government has allayed fears that car bonds in the city are selling radioactive contaminated cars.

Deo Luwalira, the CEO of Atomic Energy Council (AEC), told New Vision that there should be no worry, adding that tests done on imported cars from Japan have revealed no trace of the dangerous radioactive chemicals in the bonds in Kampala.

"We carried out random tests on 150 cars from different car bonds in the city. Our findings show that all cars were within exemption levels," he said.

Luwalira's revelations follow reports that in August, cars in bonds were radioactive contaminated. The report said between 4,000 and 5,000 cars entering the country from Japan were contaminated with radioactivity from the nuclear accident.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami that resulted in a series of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is said to have affected cars that were ready for export. They were reportedly contaminated by high level radioactive material causing many countries to put alerts for cars coming from Japan.

Scientific research shows that exposure to the radiation, even at low levels, is dangerous and can lead to cancer, brain damage and adverse hereditary effects.

Ben Manyindo, the Uganda National Bureau Standards boss, said they acquired equipment to test for radioactive material.

"Uganda and Japan have an agreement. All cars coming here must first be inspected in Japan before they are shipped," he said. "But you cannot be sure because it there may be instances of abuse." he added

He advised individuals who are not sure of the staus of radioactivity for the cars they are buying to contact UNBS for checking.

"In the meantime we are advising car buyers to be vigilant. Each car must have a sticker to show that it has been checked and passed free of radioactive contamination," Manyindo said.

The sticker bears the chassis number and is issued by Japan Government.

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