TOXIC contamination under Newport playing fields could pose a risk to users, according to a site investigation.

Council leaders now intend to ask the Assembly for further funds to examine how to tackle the problem at the Glebelands Recreations Ground.

Between the 1930s and late 1960s domestic and industrial waste was tipped on the area.

Generations of residents have used the substantial grounds for sport and recreational activities.

Campaigners opposed a decision to build a school on the south part of the site because of the contamination.

But the council insisted remedial and capping work would make the land safe and construction of the new Glan Usk Primary is now under way.

Jonathan Keen, principal environmental health officer (pollution), prepared a report for Cllr David Fouweather, cabinet member for the environment, following an investigation of the northern part of the grounds.

Heavy metals - including arsenic, mercury and lead - hydrocarbons and asbestos were identified.

Mr Keen said a number of metal drums and a substance with high levels of PCB compounds were found under one of the pitches.

As reported in the Argus earlier this year, this section was fencing off totally restricting public access.

"The overall risk classifcation for the site was 'high'," said Mr Keen, in the report.

He added the highest risk of exposure was for those involved with handling or disturbing landfill material, such as ground workers.

A moderate risk for sports users of the pitches was identified while casual recreation users were at moderate to low risk.

A high risk classification was also given to the nearby River Usk.

Mr Keen said further assessment should be carried out to discover if remediation works were needed to mitigate the risk to human health and the wider environment.

Cllr Fouweather agreed a funding application should be made to the Assembly for additional assessment of the site.