[Tig] Polonium

Rob Lingelbach rob at colorist.org
Fri Dec 1 14:27:59 GMT 2006

> Smaller-than-lethal amounts — roughly one thousandth of a lethal  
> dose — are apparently available in the US by mail order from a  
> company called United Nuclear.[60] Potentially lethal amounts — 500  
> microcuries — are present in anti-static brushes sold to  
> photographers [2], but the polonium is sealed in a ceramic matrix.  
> General Electric markets a static eliminator with 500 microcuries  
> of Polonium 210 encased in a stainless steel housings. [3]
> The effect on Litvinenko appears consistent with a dose of  
> approximately 50 millicuries of 210Po
> --
> so you would have needed about 100 brushes

right, the 3" Staticmaster is the product we used for years, and  
replaced them about every 2 years.   with 4 telecines at Editel, that's
50 years to accumulate enough polonium (and it is isotope 210 used in  
the brushes) to kill a Russian spy.   Not sure of the half-life
of polonium, but the half-life of Editel was about 12 years, and  
there was one dumpster-diver (homeless person who goes into the
garbage container for those unfamiliar with the term) living in the  
alley behind the facility.   His nickname bestowed by Editellians
was Dusty, which has an uncanny connection with the entire affair,  
and since there were a fair number of other facilities with telecines
nearby, and Dusty wasn't always to be found near Editel, perhaps he  
found a way to get all the polonium.   One wouldn't have to
unseal the ceramic cartridge to produce the radiation, it would just  
be more convenient to have the substance without its container,
but if you fashioned a fancy western leather belt festooned with 100  
ceramic cartridges disguised as .38 caliber bullets or tiny metallic
replicas of the state of Texas, that would get the job done I believe.


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