[ RadSafe ] Lethal Amount of Po-210 - any gamma?

Kai Kaletsch eic at shaw.ca
Tue Dec 12 17:11:29 CST 2006

Dear Franz,

To answer your question: Yes, I have heard about cosmic rays.

However, I am not sure how your question of "Ever heard about cosmic 
rays???????!!!!!!!" relates to either a lethal dose of Po-210, or to 
elevated radiation readings on a plane BEFORE take-off and AFTER landing. 
(The plane is not that tall.) I'm also not sure how it relates to seeing a 
noticeable increase ABOVE normal cosmic ray dose rate for that route DURING 
the flight.

Best Regards,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Franz Schönhofer" <franz.schoenhofer at chello.at>
To: "'Kai Kaletsch'" <eic at shaw.ca>; <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 2:16 PM
Subject: AW: [ RadSafe ] Lethal Amount of Po-210 - any gamma?

Ever heard about cosmic rays???????!!!!!!!

Franz Schoenhofer
PhD, MR iR
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Vienna
phone -43-0699-1168-1319

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] Im
> Auftrag von Kai Kaletsch
> Gesendet: Montag, 11. Dezember 2006 16:13
> An: radsafe at radlab.nl
> Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Lethal Amount of Po-210 - any gamma?
> Po-210 emits a gamma ray, but at a very low branching ratio. I did a quick
> calculation and concluded that you would not be able to see a gamma field
> above background, even a very small distance away from a lethal dose of
> Po-210, or even a few tens of lethal doses of Po-210 (it doesn't seem like
> those guys were particularly stingy with the stuff).
> I would appreciate it if anyone in radsafe land could tell me if this
> conclusion is correct.
> History:
> I was on a plane yesterday and noticed elevated gamma readings on my
> radiation detecting watch. (5 to 20 times normal BG before take-off and
> after landing and noticeably higher than what I am used to during flight.)
> Was told afterward that there were medical isotopes in cargo. But, you
> have
> a lot of time to consider possible scenarios during a 4 hour flight.
> BTW, it's a pretty strange experience trying to tell an airline that their
> plane is radioactive. You don't know who to talk to and you are not sure
> if
> they are going to stick you in a straight jacket. Especially, at a time
> when
> all you hear on the news is about people getting killed with radiation and
> planes getting contaminated. The first few people you talk to do not know
> that there is radioactive material in cargo.
> Kai
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