Alex Duncan, the talented piper and son of pipe band legends Ian and Chris Duncan, had “sky-high levels” of cadmium in his body when he died aged 26 in September 2020.

A post mortem revealed dangerously high levels of cadmium in his urine with his kidneys damaged by the toxic metal. The source of exposure has not been identified. Alex, who worked at who worked at the Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, Fife, became ill in August 2020, and died after spending 15 days in hospital. He had years before survived a blood clot on the brain when he was 18.

An investigation by Public Health Scotland, NHS Fife and the Crown Office lasted 14 months and failed to establish how Alex became exposed to the metal – which is used to make batteries. His parents are now seeking a fresh inquiry to establish how he came into contact with it. Alex’ blood was found to have 270 units of cadmium in it. The normal level should be below three. The family is also calling for Alex’s death certificate – which was produced before the post mortem results were in – to be amended to include cadmium toxicity.

Alex and his fiancée Freya Anderson-Ward decided to get married in the hospital but his organs began to fail and he was soon put into a medically induced coma.

NHS Fife is leading the inquiry. The health board said it was unable to comment due to the on-going investigation.

Pipers played at beats the length of Scotland’s River Tay system yesterday to mark the opening of salmon fishing season.

The official opening is usually held at Kenmore on the upper river but smaller events took place on almost every beat.

Opening day on the Edradynate beat on the upper Tay. Left-to-right: Stuart Letford, Tomas Kolesinskas (beat manager), his son Gojus and Father Philip Francis who blessed the river.
Ian Duncan and one of his pupils, Ben Elliot lead the march to the river at the Meikleour beat. Among the anglers were actors Robson Green and James Murray, who played Prince Andrew in the recent series, The Crown. The duo are filming a programme about angling and will also attend this year’s Atholl Gathering.