Italian public reassured over radiation scare

Iran Materials 2 December 2006 14:03 (UTC +04:00)

(breakingnews) - A security expert's positive test in London for a radioactive substance was not a public health threat in Italy, Italian officials said.

The country's health ministry said it had been in contact with British authorities since learning that Mario Scaramella, a security expert who met poisoned ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London, also tested positive for polonium-210.

My son has been poisoned, Scaramella's father, Amedeo Scaramella, told The Associated Press from Naples. He said he was too distraught to talk further, reports Trend.

A woman identifying herself as Mario Scaramella's mother said the family was trying to detrmine whether to go to London for tests.

Italian officials held a special meeting to discuss whether Scaramella's recent stay in Italy was a risk to anyone in direct contact with him.

As of now, we stress that there are no elements to hypothesise any kind of danger for public health in Italy, the ministry said in a statement.

Scaramella had told a news conference in Rome on November 21 that he had met with Litvinenko at a sushi restaurant on November 1 to discuss information on the killing of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Litvinenko started feeling ill on November 1 and died on November 23.

Also at the November 21 news conference was Italian politician Paolo Guzzanti, the former chairman of a parliamentary commission that examined cases of past KGB infiltration in Italy.

Scaramella had worked as a consultant for the commission.

Guzzanti also said he would try to get tested for radioactive substances.