[ RadSafe ] Po-210

Philip Egidi pvegidi at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us
Wed Nov 29 17:07:50 CST 2006


Help me understand the possible contamination issue here:

IF he was dosed with a soluble form of this isotope and he was walking around for a couple weeks prior to his hospitalization, isn't it probable that his sweat, urine, clothing, etc. were contaminated, such that just about anyone or anything he came in direct or close contact with could potentially also get contaminated?

Some of us less fortunate grunts have to deal with patients released from radiation therapy using I-131 with tens of millicuries still in the patient - resulting in us going through trash trucks/ dumps to recover the offending diaper or paper towel or clothing when the patient doesn't follow directions and the landfill alarms trip.  The stuff spreads around very easily.  Sounds like tremendously more activity is involved in this case, with potential for Po-210 contamination being on a lot more than a few planes, condos and a sushi bar.

If the magnitude of activity/dose being discussed in this case are actually what he was hit with, the potential for a lot of contamination would seem to exist, and be difficult to characterize and detect since it is an alpha emitter.  Not that it would necessarily be a serious health issue, but could have a temporary economic and perhaps long-term psychological impacts.

Sounds like this guy was not just a "dead man walking," he may also have been a radioactivity dispersion device.  
Or am I not understanding the contamination potential?

Crazy world, ain't it?

Phil Egidi

>>> "Fred Dawson" <fd003f0606 at blueyonder.co.uk> 11/29/06 3:14 PM >>>
BBC Reports Radioactive traces on BA planes


Traces of a radioactive substance have been found on two British Airways 
planes at Heathrow Airport, says BA.
The planes, plus a third in Moscow, are being tested as part of the probe 
into the death from radiation poisoning of ex-KGB agent Alexander 

BA is trying to make contact with up to 33,000 passengers who travelled on 
the 221 European flights affected, including the London to Moscow route.
The airline said it had been advised the risk to public health was low.

Passengers are asked to check the flight details BA is publishing on its 
website and to contact NHS Direct or a special helpline number if they 
travelled on the affected flights.

BA told the BBC's Moscow bureau the third plane was currently at the city's 
Domodedovo airport.

A British team - thought to be police experts - will go to Moscow shortly to 
test the aircraft.
The airline said it had not been confirmed when the Boeing 767s could have 
been contaminated but forensics experts were "looking back to the end of 

a.. British Airways has set up a special helpline for customers in the UK on 
0845 6040171 or 0191 211 3690 for international calls.

a.. Passengers who travelled on those flights and want further advice are 
advised to telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Fred Dawson
fwp_dawson at hotmail.com 

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the RadSafe rules. These can be found at: http://radlab.nl/radsafe/radsaferules.html 

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: http://radlab.nl/radsafe/

More information about the RadSafe mailing list