[ RadSafe ] Polonium and consumer uses

North, David DNorth at Lifespan.org
Fri Dec 1 15:39:56 CST 2006

I remember those anti-static brushes. They may even be still available. The polonium was contained in tiny ceramic beads on the underside of the brush head. So, even if you had swallowed some of it, there would have been no absorption.

David L. North, Sc.M., DABR
Associate Physicist
Medical Physics
Main Bldg. Rm 317
Rhode Island Hospital
593 Eddy St.
Providence, RI 02903
fax: (401)444-4446
dnorth at lifespan.org

> ----------
> From: 	Richard L. Hess
> Sent: 	Wednesday, November 29, 2006 20:10
> To: 	radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: 	[ RadSafe ] Polonium and consumer uses
> With all this talk of polonium, I'm wondering why I'm still alive! I 
> think StaticMaster film-cleaning brushes included polonium cartridges 
> to ionize the air around the negatives you were trying to clean. I 
> recall the requirement to send them back to their maker for disposal. 
> My mentor who had a darkroom in his house used these in the 1960s.
> Am I mis-remembering? What other uses has polonium been put to?
> Of course, any of these brushes would be long dormant given the short 
> half-life.
> This was a horrible use of "science" but I am frustrated that the 
> press reports don't have any numbers in them. For example, what level 
> of radioactivity was found on the plane? How many CPM of alphas?
> Gives new respect for alpha particles and their destructiveness.
> Regards,
> Richard
> Richard L. Hess                   richard at richardhess.com
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       http://www.richardhess.com/
> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm  
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