As Army investigators continue to evaluate the radiation levels at a former nuclear weapons bunker in Fort Bliss, Texas, experts rule out immediate danger.

The Washington Post reports that investigators arrived Tuesday together with the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction team to examine the igloo-like bunker that was used for storage and assembly of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

According to Fort Bliss spokesman Joe Buccino, the epoxy paint applied to the interior had begun to chip away, gradually exposing the radioactive surfaces.

Although weaponry has been stored in the bunker for the past decade, Buccini said that soldiers who used the equipment are unlikely to have become contaminated as a result. The only real concern would be ingestion of the epoxy paint chips - a risk limited to personnel routinely working inside the bunker.

Local radiology experts support this claim, indicating that the types of radiation detected pose no threat to public health. In an interview with KFOX14, Professor John Walton of the University of Texas assured readers that the health issues commonly associated with radiation - cancer, skin burns and deformities - had very little to do with the alpha and beta radiation detected at the site.

"Apparently they're finding alpha and beta there, which would be consistent with nuclear weapons because that's what you get from plutonium and uranium," Walton said. "It's not going to be an immediate health threat to the people of El Paso, it's been there apparently since the '50s or '60s so this has been with us a long time."

"The alpha radiation is a helium nucleus. It's big and massive, and what happens is, it will be stopped by your skin, or your clothing, so it doesn't penetrate very far. Beta is electron, it'll move through maybe your skin but not much further," he continued.

While the public threat is next to zero, the Army's current containment measures remain necessary, as the ingestion and inhalation of material contaminated by the radiation could be very dangerous.

"In terms of how dangerous they are, it's a little but complicated, gamma radiation, people are more scared of because you can't stop it very easily, but alpha radiation actually does more damage," Walton said. "If you get alpha radiation in your lungs, by say inhaling it or breathing it in, it's the most toxic form of radiation. If you have some plutonium from a nuclear bomb, and you put it in a Ziploc bag, I could hold it in my hand and it wouldn't do much damage. If I were to take it out of that Ziploc bag, and pulverize it or burn it, and breathe it in, it's one of the most toxic substances known to man."

According to Buccini, all personnel that have been working in close proximity to the contaminated epoxy chips inside the bunker have been notified of the radiation risk.

Radiation refers to the energy emitted from the decaying nuclei of unstable elements like radium and uranium. The process whereby these unstable elements attempt to stabilize themselves releases radioactive particles, whose energy is sometimes high enough to break chemical bonds.