[ RadSafe ] BBC Reports Radioactive poison fear over spy

Dawson, Fred Mr Fred.Dawson199 at mod.uk
Tue Nov 21 07:00:57 CST 2006

BBC Reports Radioactive poison fear over spy 


The Russian dissident ill in a London hospital may have been poisoned
with a radioactive substance, an expert toxicologist has said. 

Professor John Henry said Alexander Litvinenko, 41, had symptoms
consistent with thallium poisoning but other symptoms linked to other
substances. "It's not 100% thallium," Dr Henry said outside University
College Hospital. He said the poison may have been radioactive thallium,
which would now be difficult to trace.   Radioactive thallium degrades
very rapidly so that by now we've missed the chance.  He said: "It may
be too late. If it's a radioactive poison with a short half-life it may
have gone. 

Radioactive thallium is used in hospitals but Dr Henry said it was not
used in massive doses consistent with Mr Litvinenko's condition.
"Poisons can be taken by mouth, they can be injected, they can be
inhaled," he said. "In this case his symptoms are gastro-intestinal so
the probability is that he has swallowed something that is poisoned.
"Radioactive thallium adds a new dimension to this case. It means that
his bone marrow is at very high risk and we have to see how his cells
recover. It is very difficult to treat because you have to rely on the
body's natural resilience." 

Fred Dawson
Fwp_dawson at hotmail.com

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