[ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report

edmond0033 at comcast.net edmond0033 at comcast.net
Sat Nov 9 11:52:56 CST 2013

Dear Colleagues:

Normally, after 10 half-lives there should be very little Po-210 left.  The 
amount of Pb-210 from the decay of Po-210 should also be negligible.  One 
can calculate the number of atoms of Pb-210 remaining.  Where would one get 
the Po-210?  I doubt if the Russians would supply it.  Separating it from 
Radium-226 would not be easy, especially for those doing it.

Ed Baratta

eddmond0033 at comcast.net

-----Original Message----- 
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:01 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 

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 

All the best -

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