[ RadSafe ] Polonium and consumer uses

Colette Tremblay Colette.Tremblay at ssp.ulaval.ca
Fri Dec 1 16:07:24 CST 2006

The manufacturer's Website states:

always balanced, using the alpha-energy isotope Polonium 210 to continuously
create an equal number of positive and negative ions. No calibration,
balance adjustment, or distance allowance is ever required.
Alpha energy, while a strong air ionizer, presents no external radiation
hazard. It is incapable of penetrating an ordinary sheet of paper or a
person's epidermal (top, dead) layer of skin. Air stops alpha energy at a
distance of about 2².
The isotope is pressure welded by a patented process into a multi-layer gold
and silver foil that is insoluble and inert in most chemicals. The physical
properties of gold and silver provide excellent resistance to oxidation and
corrosion. Because the isotope is an integral part of the foil, it is
vibration and impact resistant.


My question is: 

Would it be easy for a chemist to retrieve the polonium from these devices?

Colette Tremblay
Agente de radioprotection
Université Laval
Pavillon Enest-Lemieux, bureau 2527
Québec QC Canada  G1K 7P4
(418) 656-2131 poste 2893
Télécopie: (418) 656-5617
Colette.Tremblay at ssp.ulaval.ca

 Le 01/12/06 16:49, « Johnston, Thomas »

 <Tom_Johnston at nymc.edu> a écrit :

> Google Staticmaster and you will see how easy it is to find Po-210
> online.
> I had to tell a sales rep that they offered these for sale in their
> catalog and they were quite surprised.
> Thomas P. Johnston
> Radiation Safety Officer
> New York Medical College
> Valhalla, NY 10595
> 914-594-4448 office
> 914-594-3665 fax
> 914-557-5950 mobile
> tom_johnston at nymc.edu
> -----Original Message-----
> From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
> Behalf Of North, David
> Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 4:40 PM
> To: radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Polonium and consumer uses
> 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.

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