[ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report

John Ahlquist john.ahlquist at sbcglobal.net
Tue Nov 12 14:18:33 CST 2013

Has anyone looked at what level of 210Po would be naturally present from the decay chain of the 238U radionuclides that would be in the body?    The chain includes 226Ra, 222Rn, and 210Po.

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 14:56:09 +0000
From: "KARAM, PHILIP" <PHILIP.KARAM at nypd.org>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report
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The report estimates an administered dose on the order of 1 GBq. After about 20 half-lives there would be about 1 kBq of total activity remaining of the original dose - only a fraction of this would be in any single location and a fair amount would have been excreted, but with detection limits in the vicinity of 1 mGq it is plausible that there would be enough left to be detectable.

According to an HPS fact sheet on Po-210 (http://hps.org/documents/po210factsheet.pdf) the dose from 1 microgram (about 166 MBq) is 40 Sv. If the Po-210 had an uptake fraction of about 0.1, so 1 GBq administered would give a dose of about 24 Sv. This would seem adequate to cause fatal ARS.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of clayton bradt
Sent: Sunday, November 10, 2013 6:55 PM
To: brickner at smile.net.ilradsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Arafat Po poisoning report

There is no way to estimate a dose from the activities reported in this
paper.  The uncertainties are large and by the time you back-calculate the
ingested activity the uncertainty is so large as to make any estimate

All that can be said is that the results of this study are consistent with
a lethal dose of Po210 being administered (tens of millicuries to result in
death within a month).  That being said, just about any activity measured
this far out would be consistent with that assumption.

Clayton Bradt
Principal Radiophysicist
NYS Dept. of Health

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