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Monday, May 21, 2012

Convicted Lockerbie bomber dies of cancer in Libya. Was cured in UK with Litvinenko treatment?

The poison Shortly after his death, the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) stated that tests had established Litvinenko had significant amounts of the radionuclide polonium-210 (210Po) in his body. British and US government sources both said the use of 210Po as a poison has never been documented before, and this was probably the first time a person has been tested for the presence of 210Po in his or her body. The poison was in Litvinenko's tea cup.[13] People who had contact with Litvinenko may also have been exposed to radiation.[14][15] Polonium was identified only after Litvinenko's death, on 23 November. Doctors and Scotland Yard investigators could not detect polonium earlier because it does not emit gamma rays, which are encountered with most radioactive isotopes. Unlike most common radiation sources, polonium-210 emits only alpha particles that do not penetrate even a sheet of paper or the epidermis of human skin, thus being invisible to normal radiation detectors in this case. Hospitals only have equipment to detect gamma rays. Both gamma rays and alpha particles are classified as ionizing radiation which can cause radiation damage. An alpha-emitting substance can cause significant damage only if ingested or inhaled, acting on living cells like a short-range weapon.[16] Litvinenko was tested for alpha-emitters using special equipment only hours before his death.[16] [edit]Po-210 concentration in the body of Litvinenko The symptoms seen in Litvinenko appeared consistent with an administered activity of approximately 2 GBq (50 mCi) which corresponds to about 10 micrograms of 210Po. That is 200 times the median lethal dose of around 238 Ci or 50 nanograms in the case of ingestion.[17]

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