[ RadSafe ] Polonium-210 HPA Update Statement and Observer report

Dawson, Fred Mr Fred.Dawson199 at mod.uk
Mon Nov 27 02:34:15 CST 2006

"HPA Update Statement 


25 November 2006

Update Statement on the Public Health Issues related to Polonium-210

The Health Protection Agency is providing expert advice on the public health issues surrounding the death of Mr Alexander Litvinenko. Following the results of further assessments we are updating our advice.

Some small quantities of radioactive material have been found in a small number of areas at the Itsu sushi restaurant at 167 Piccadilly, London , and in some areas of the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square , London , and at Mr Litvinenko's home in Muswell Hill. 

We are therefore asking anyone who was in the Itsu restaurant, or who was in The Pine Bar or the restaurant of the Millennium Hotel on 1 November to contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 where they will be given advice on what to do.
The substance found is Polonium-210. The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, is issuing advice to GPs and hospitals on the risks and clinical implications of exposure to Polonium-210.
We want to reassure the public that the risk of having been exposed to this substance remains low. It can only represent a radiation hazard if it is taken into the body - by breathing it in, by taking it into the mouth, or if it gets into a wound. It is not a radiological hazard as long as it remains outside the body. Most traces of it can be eliminated through handwashing, or washing machine and dishwasher cycles. 

The Agency is also investigating the clinical areas of the two hospitals where Mr Litvinenko was treated. 
The police investigation continues. We will provide further public information as appropriate.

If you are an overseas visitor and were in any of the above places on the dates listed you should email the Health Protection Agency for advice: overseasadvice at hpa.org.uk. If you do not have access to email you can contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 but only via a mobile telephone
* Further health advice on Polonium-210 
Note to Editors 
1.   Further information is available on www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk and www.hpa.org.uk 

On Sunday the Observer reported 

"The Foreign Office held a meeting on Friday with the Russian ambassador to request full co-operation from the Russian government in the police investigation, including making witnesses available. Officials from the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Aldermaston, Berkshire, and Porton Down, the government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, were trying last night to track down the precise source of the polonium 210 that killed Litvinenko.

No date has been set for a post mortem examination on Litvinenko until a risk assessment is carried out to see if it is safe to perform the procedure, and if so, what precautions would be necessary."

Full report at


Fred Dawsonfwp_dawson at hotmail.com

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