The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is facing demands from politicians, experts and environmentalists to come clean about contamination from former chemical weapons plants in Scotland.
An internal MoD briefing has revealed that sites near Beith in North Ayrshire and near Callander in Stirling have been under investigation for possible risks to human health and the environment. The sites were previously used to make, store and dispose of chemical warfare agents.
Though the MoD insists that the sites are safe, critics are concerned about the dangers of lingering contamination. They are demanding more information about the MoD’s investigations, and urging complete openness with local communities.
Stan Blackley, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, warned that the MoD’s information machine was “toxic” and couldn’t be trusted. “We need more than just assurances that there is no risk to public health at these sites, particularly given the toxic nature of what went on at them in the past,” he told the Sunday Herald.
“Until independent scientific verification is obtained and released stating that these sites are safe and pose no risk, it would be foolish for anyone to do anything other than treat what we're being told with a big pinch of salt, and avoid them like the plague.”