HEALTH bosses are claiming that there is no evidence to suggest the ash clouds lingering over West Fife villages pose any significant health risk.

NHS Fife say that testing carried out by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has not produced any evidence to suggest the ash, a by-product of the coal burned at Longannet Power Station, is harmful to residents in the surrounding area.

The ash has been emanating from the Valleyfield ash lagoons for the past month, with Scottish Power apologising to local people affected by the ash.

Dr Margaret Hannah, NHS Fife Director of Public Health, said: “Air quality monitoring for particulate matter (PM10) has been carried out by SEPA at sites in Culross and Valleyfield since the fifth of May.

“On average, levels of PM10 have remained below the daily Air Quality Standard (Scotland), which is set to protect human health.

“In comparison with other fixed air monitoring sites, the average levels of PM10 detected at Culross and Valleyfield continue to be in line with the rest of Scotland.

“We would reassure locals that there is no evidence to suggest a significant risk to health in the area as a result of this event."

Dr Hannah added that locals with breathing difficulties should avoid inhaling the dust-type residue where possible.

She said: "Breathing in any sort of dust can be bad for your health, especially if you have heart or lung disease, or asthma.

"If you are affected by such conditions, our advice continues to be to take precautions, such as shutting windows and doors, or limiting outdoor activities, if it becomes dusty outside.”