Polonium-210: A Volatile Radioelement in Cigarettes

@article{Radford1964Polonium210AV,
  title={Polonium-210: A Volatile Radioelement in Cigarettes},
  author={Edward P. Radford and Vilma R. Hunt},
  journal={Science},
  year={1964},
  volume={143},
  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
TLDR
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.
TLDR
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.
TLDR
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
TLDR
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
TLDR
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.
TLDR
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
TLDR
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.
TLDR
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.
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