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Polonium 210

What is polonium 210?

Polonium-210 (Po-210) is a radioactive material. It occurs naturally and is present in the environment and in people at very low concentrations. It can also be made by irradiation of other materials. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138 days. It undergoes decay by emitting alpha particles, accompanied by very low intensity gamma rays.

Alpha particles do not travel very far - no more than a few centimetres in air. They are stopped by a sheet of paper or by the dead layer of outer skin on our bodies.

Polonium-210 is used industrially, for example in anti-static devices in factories.

Because polonium-210 is a naturally occurring radionuclide, we all have a very small amount in our bodies. This contributes to the natural radiation dose we all get every year.


What's new

8 Mar 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

6 Mar 2007 : Polonium-210 as a Poison

1 Mar 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

22 Feb 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

15 Feb 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

08 Feb 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

01 Feb 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

25 Jan 2007: Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

18 Jan 2007: Polonium-210 Press Release

11 Jan 2007: Polonium-210 Press Release

05 Jan 2007: Polonium-210 Press Release

03 Jan 2007: Polonium-210 Press Release

28 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

19 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

18 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

18 Dec 2006: Information for overseas visitors in relation to Polonium-210 Incident

15 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

14 Dec 2006: Questions about public health issues related to the Polonium-210 incident

14 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

13 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

12 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

12 Dec 2006: Advice to relatives, friends, co-workers and those who have been in close contact with people who have received positive test results

11 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

10 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

09 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

08 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

07 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

06 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

05 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

04 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

03 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

02 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

01 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

01 Dec 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

30 Nov 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

29 Nov 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

28 Nov 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

27 Nov 2006: Polonium-210 Press Release

25 Nov 2006: Update Statement on the Public Health Issues related to Polonium-210

24 Nov 2006: Mr Alexander Litvinenko- Health Protection Agency Statement