[ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Thu Nov 7 15:35:11 CST 2013

Was he a smoker?  Higher than normal Pb-210 levels before death would
give an elevated Po-210 reading years later...

Cary Renquist
cary.renquist at ezag.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of KARAM, PHILIP
Sent: Thursday, 07 November 2013 1:02 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report

For those who are interested, one of the labs analyzing Arafat's remains
has concluded that he was poisoned with Po-210. A copy of their report
can be downloaded from the Al Jazeera website

I have not had a chance to review the report at all - it's about 100
pages in length and I just downloaded it. But I have to say that I'm
dubious that Po-210 could be detected so long after it was administered
- with a half-life of 138 days, it's undergone 24 half-lives of decay so
the original activity has decayed by a factor of 2^24 (about 17 million)
since mid-October, 2004.

The report did mention a concentration of almost 1 Bq/gm in bone in one
sample, which means that the concentration at death would have been over
17 MBq/gm if I'm doing the calculations correctly. That seems like an
awful lot of Po-210.

In any event, it would be interesting if those of you who are better
versed in laboratory procedures and such could comment on the
plausibility of this part of the report being correct. It would also be
interesting if those of you better-versed in radiation sickness could
comment on the symptoms reported.

Finally, I should say that, although I'm dubious, I'm also willing to
change my mind! If the reported lab results are correct then that's the
way it goes.

All the best -

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