Solving the nuclear whodunit [death of Alexander Litvinenko] is complicat[ed by] the relative ubiquity of polonium 210, the highly radioactive substance found in Mr. Litvinenko’s body. . . . public and private inquiries have shown that it proliferated quite widely during the nuclear era, of late as an industrial commodity.
“You can get it all over the place,” said William Happer, a physicist at Princeton who has advised the United States government on nuclear forensics. “And it’s a terrible way to go.”
Today, polonium 210 can show up in everything from atom bombs, to antistatic brushes to cigarette smoke, though in the last case only minute quantities are involved.
[. . . ]
Commercially, Web sites and companies sell many products based on polonium 210, with labels warning of health dangers. By some estimates, a lethal dose might cost as little as $22.50, plus tax. “Radiation from polonium is dangerous if the solid material is ingested or inhaled,” warns the label of an antistatic brush. “Keep away from children.”
[. . . ]
Though dangerous when breathed, injected or ingested, the material is harmless outside the human body. Skin or paper can stop its rays cold.
Industrial companies found polonium 210 to be ideal for making static eliminators that remove dust from film, lenses and laboratory balances, as well as paper and textile plants. Its rays produce an electric charge on nearby air. Bits of dust with static attract the charged air, which neutralizes them. Once free of static, the dust is easy to blow or brush away.
Manufacturers of antistatic devices take great pains to make the polonium hard to remove. Even so, Dr. Zimmerman of King’s College said it could be done with “careful lab work,” which he declined to describe.
the results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210
moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210
It's what killed him. Now we need to find out who was holding the gun at that time, adding: I would point to him being given a fatal dose. I don't think there's any doubt at all.
It's what killed him. Now we need to find out who was holding the gun at that time,
I would point to him being given a fatal dose. I don't think there's any doubt at all.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was murdered with polonium: widow PARIS - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium, his widow Suha said on Wednesday after receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband's corpse.
"[T]he question really then was how to continue, how to move on, and that is really the question that needed to be tackled at the time.
“We felt that going into an autopsy would really make it very difficult for the people and very difficult for the memory of Arafat and would turn what is a martyrdom case into a police criminal case.
“Really, people were not really ready, at least in our mind, for turning this into a criminal police case."
Once he was dead, wouldn't he have stopped accumulating radiation?
« Older Woody Allen Making Love: a supercut... | In Canada, poppy pins are worn... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt