[ RadSafe ] Polonium-210 poisoning
ajess at clemson.edu
Sat Sep 10 17:31:42 CDT 2011
Yes, I don't remember the numbers and I'm no novice, but I was surprised to
find out just how radiotoxic and what a small quantity of Po-210 it would
take to do the job. It's pretty easy to get 15 mCi of Po-210 many times
over. Betty Crocker chemistry wild extract the poison relatively easily. It
would have never crossed my mind before Litvinenko.
I had forgotten the movie. I'll look it up.
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Otto G. Raabe
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2011 2:39 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Polonium-210 poisoning
September 10, 2011
At London's Millenium Hotel on November 1, 2006, Alexander
Litvinenko, a Russian defector, was poisoned with tea containing a
large amount of polonium-210. He fell ill that very day and died
after a long hospitalization on November 23. He told investigators
that he had met with two former KGB agents early on the day he fell ill.
That event reminded me of an old black-and-white movie that I saw in
1950, and I recently rented it from Netflix. Well, the similarity of
that story was surprising, especially since that story was written so
early in the atomic age.
That 1950 movie was named "D.O.A", starring Edmond O'Brien.
While on vacation in San Francisco, an accountant named Frank Bigelow
is purposely poisoned at a bar with a "slow-acting" poison which the
doctors called a "luminous poison". In the movie, the physicians
detected the poison in the victim's blood using a blood sample mixed
in a test tube with a scintillation solution and observed the tube
glowing in the dark. This glowing tube is shown in the movie. The
doctors reported extensive blood cell damage and told Bigelow that
his condition was terminal. He had only a few days or weeks to live.
They said they could have pumped his stomach if he had come in soon
after he was poisoned, but he did not know that he was poisoned. The
doctors said that there was no antidote for this "luminous" poison.
Well the story is about how Bigelow searches for the attacker, and it
is quite interesting especially with all the old scenes in San Francisco.
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