Half a ton of radioactive sanitary pads confiscated at Beirut International Airport

Not the first time that airport officials have had to confiscate radioactive items

Rose Troup Buchanan
Monday 23 March 2015 15:00
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Passengers wait in one of the terminals of Rafik Hariri International Airport where custom officials recently confiscated radioactive sanitary towels
Passengers wait in one of the terminals of Rafik Hariri International Airport where custom officials recently confiscated radioactive sanitary towels

Lebanese airport authorities have confiscated half a ton of sanitary towels after they were found to contain radioactive substances.

More than 550 kilograms of sanitary pads in 30 cartons were confiscated on Friday after electronic scanners at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport picked up radioactivity in the shipment.

Tests by the Lebanese Atomic Agency later revealed that the shipment, which originated in China but arrived in Beirut via Dubai, had more than 35 times the safe levels of radioactivity.

Lebanon’s minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, responsible for customs, told Al-Joumhouriya newspaper: “As a result of the examination of a number of boxes that contained sanitary pads, it appeared that the rate of radioactivity inside them was 35 times more than is permitted.”

It is not the first time radioactive materials have been prevented from entering the country following their discovery at the airport.

In February customs officials revealed that they had received radioactive material in a shipment of 98 crates of mobile phone covers that had been imported from China.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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