Polonium-210: A Volatile Radioelement in Cigarettes

  title={Polonium-210: A Volatile Radioelement in Cigarettes},
  author={Edward P. Radford and Vilma R. Hunt},
  pages={247 - 249}
Polonium-210, which emits alpha particles, is a natural contaminant of tobacco. For an individual smoking two packages of cigarettes a day, the radiation dose to bronchial epithelium from Po210 inhaled in cigarette smoke probably is at least seven times that from background sources, and in localized areas may be up to 1000 rem or more in 25 years. Radiation from this source may, therefore, be significant in the genesis of bronchial cancer in smokers. 
Polonium in Cigarettes—Spectroscopic Analysis
The Radford and Hunt2 group maintained that polonium is more dangerous because of its volatility above 500° C, and estimated the radiation dose to bronchial epithelium from 210Po inhaled in cigarette smoke to be at least seven times that from background sources, and in localized areas possibly up to 200 times.
Study of Polonium-210 in Persian Cigarette and Tobacco Crops.
Drying in direct contact with fumes of fossil fuel seems like one of the main excessive sources of 210Po in Persian cigarettes.
Systemic absorption of polonium-210 inhaled in cigarette smoke.
The kinetics of the change in the concentration of polonium-210 in the peripheral blood of six cigarette smokers has been studied and indicates that a major fraction of the Isotope inhaled in cigarette smoke is absorbed directly into the blood stream.
Lead-210 and Polonium-210 in Tissues of Cigarette Smokers
Concentrations of lead-210 and polonium-210 in rib bones taken from 13 cigarette smokers were about twice those in six nonsmokers, the polonium-210 being close to radioactive equilibrium with the
Polonium-210 in cigarette tobacco
Cigarette smokers who consume one pack (20 cigarettes) per day are inhaling an average of 151 mBq/day of 210Po and 210Pb each, and the mean values of the annual effective dose for smokers were estimated to be 237 and 309 µSv, respectively.
Polonium-210 Activity in the Lungs of Cigarette Smokers
The lung tissue dissected from heavy smokers was shown to contain 3-4 times the 210Po activity found in the lungs of nonsmokers, and the parenchymal tissue the bifurcation and the bronchial tissue were dissected before measurement.
Polonium 210 in tobacco, cigarette smoke, and selected human organs.
Since Polonium 210 may be one of the causes of lung cancer a study was undertaken to determine its level in filtered and nonfiltered cigarettes, and tests indicated higher levels of polonium210 in the organs of smokers.
Natural radioactive nuclides in cigarettes and dose estimation for smokers
  • K. Iwaoka, H. Yonehara
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
    Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
  • 2012
The annual effective dose of radionuclides to smokers was found to be 0.27 mSv year−1, which was lower than an intervention exemption level given in International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP Publ. 82).
Lung cancer induced in hamsters by low doses of alpha radiation from polonium-210.
This finding supports the hypothesis that alpha radiation resulting from the polonium-210 or lead-210 present in cigarette smoke may be a significant causative factor in human lung cancer.


Lead-210 and Polonium-210 in Grass
  • C. Hill
  • Environmental Science
  • 1960
Evidence is presented that suggests that a large part of the alpha activity observed in certain samples of grass may originate as a decay product of atmospheric radon which is deposited onto the
Latent Carcinogenic Action of Beta-Irradiation on Mouse Epidermis
It seemed of interest to inquire whether a ‘latent’ tumour change similar to that produced by the hydrocarbon could be induced in mouse skin by the local application of beta-rays in a single, subcarcinogenic dose.
On cigarette smoking, bronchial carcinoma and ciliary action. I. Smoking habits and measurement of smoke intake.
  • A. Hilding
  • Medicine
    The New England journal of medicine
  • 1956
Hoping to add some useful points of information on the dosage of smoke intake and the disposition of smoke in the respiratory tract, the author undertook the studies reported in this and subsequent articles.
The dose to the trachea and bronchi from the decay products of radon and thoron.
When air containing radon or thoron is breathed some of the decay products* are deposited on the surface of the respiratory system, and the radiation from this active deposit then gives a dose to the
Alpha Activity of Certain Botanical Materials
Results are tabulated from measurements of alpha radioactivity in a number of plants and soil samples collected in Great Britain and Central Africa. Some of the plants are used directly as human
Smoking in Relation to Mortality and Morbidity.
More desirable coatings than heretofore possible, that are less subject to yellow discoloration occurring in conventional coatings and capable of being cast at greater thickness without carcking, are obtained therewith.
Laboratory Contributions to the Tobacco-cancer Problem*
The present report represents an evaluation of the contributions that laboratory research is making in this field and concludes that the importance of laboratory work is not to prove that smoking is a cause of cancer in man.
Analysis of teeth and bones for alpha-emitting elements.
A method for the analysis of a single tooth and small samples of bone for Po/sup 210/, Ra/sup 226/, and Ra/sup 224/ is described. It was found to give results in good agreement with those obtained by