Although signs at Dalgety Bay advise people not to remove seafood and bait, some continue to collect shellfish from the area. Sampling seafood, such as cockles, mussels and winkles, should help to identify whether additional measures to protect the public are required. It will form part of the joint radiological monitoring programme run in Scotland in liaison with SEPA.
The radioactive material at Dalgety Bay is thought to originate from luminescent paint containing radium. This was used by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on aircraft when the area was in military use as Donibristle Airfield. The site was decommissioned after the Second World War, and waste material containing radium may have been buried in man-made ground adjacent to the coast.
In 2006 and 2010, the FSA in Scotland, in collaboration with SEPA, monitored cockles, mussels and winkles from Dalgety Bay and found no unusual levels of radionuclides.