[ RadSafe ] Po-210 in the news

gert.jonkers at shell.com gert.jonkers at shell.com
Mon Jul 9 07:47:28 CDT 2012


Indeed Po-210 do have a low detection limit, but how about the detection limit of Pb-210. Mr Arafat was a smoker as we may remember and as tobacco may contain relatively enhanced levels of Pb-210, the low concentrations mentioned may stem from Po-210 ingrowth from Pb-210 as well. I know the original announcement is mentioning unsupported Po-210, but it was not clear to me how (which analysis method and LoD?) the presence of Pb-210 was excluded. Anyone more information on the non-presence of Pb-210?

Kind regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Hill, Peter
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 5:30 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Po-210 in the news


Po-210 contents are usually assessed by means of alpha-spectroscopy. LOD's of 1 mBq/l are achievable. At CIMB-J already a level of 0.4mBq Po-210 may be detected in a 24h-sample of urine. Just routine.

Kind regards
Peter Hill
Head Competent Incorporation Monitoring Body - Jülich (CIMB-J)

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich

         From the Jerusalem Post article linked below:

"And yet, eight years after Arafat's death, the
Swiss scientists reported finding polonium levels
of 54 millibecquerels (mBq) and 180
millibecquerels on his belonging, considered to be high levels."

         By my reckoning, the former is 0.001
pCi, and the latter is 0.005 pCi.  If that is
correct, how can levels this low be
detected?  The error bars must be huge. . . .

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