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Forget mobile phones causing cancer, a far more realistic concern this Christmas is whether or not you are one of the 4,500 unfortunates who has a radioactive watch under the tree.

It turns out that a "rogue" batch of watches for sale in super markets in France have been contaminated with Cobalt 60, which has a half life of 5.271 years.

It is thought that the readioactive metal got into the watches during the manufacturing process in Hong Kong.

The National Radiological Protection Board issued the warning, saying that it is concerned that Brits could have bought the watches on shopping trips to France.

The board said that the substance emits very low dosage of radiation, which falls within legal limits. It said that the watch would have to be worn for years before a person was at risk of developing cancer.

However, since the isotope is a source of gamma rays, the NRPB says that anyone who thinks they may have purchased a watch in a Carrefour super market, in France, should get in touch. ®

Related Links

NRPB's site, and their contact information.

A bit more info about Cobalt 60.

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