chemical Polonium toxicity AW: [ RadSafe ] Uranium Toxicity

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Thu Apr 5 12:49:45 CDT 2007

Regarding chemo-toxicity of Polonium I found (DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-0172) that a 20 month old boy of 11.2 kg recovered from a severe acute Tellurium toxication (the chemically next of kin of Polonium) which 8 hours postingestion yielded a large blood concentration of 200 microgram/l. Given that, it is hardly conceivable that the minute lethal Po concentrations in the order of 0.1 microgram/kg would seriously affect a healthy adult by its chemistry.


Acute lethal doses, LD-50, for laboratory animals range between 20 (mouse) and 80 (rat) mg/kg. If the systematic in the neighbouring metalloid group persists in the chalcogen group, then the (chemical) toxicity of Polonium should be even less than that of Tellurium.


Regards, Rainer 


Dr. Rainer Facius
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Linder Hoehe
51147 Koeln
Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
FAX:   +49 2203 61970


Von: radsafe-bounces at im Auftrag von efforrer at
Gesendet: Do 05.04.2007 17:35
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Uranium Toxicity

Many many years ago while I was working in the Radiation Safety Office at a large research university we had a researcher that wanted to look into the toxicity of uranium. Specifically he was looking at what body burden would create a dose high enough to cause health effects. As I recall the heavy metal characteristics of uranium did far more damage and far more quickly than the radiation ever could. I have often wondered if people are concentrating on the radioactive aspect of a radioactive material and ignoring the fact that many of these materials are chemically toxic. On that vein dose anyone know if it was the radiation or the chemical characteristic of the polonium that killed that Russian spy. His decline seemed very rapid for a dose that could be carried around and discretely added to his food or drink.

AOL now offers free email to everyone.  Find out more about what's free from AOL at
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:

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit:

More information about the RadSafe mailing list