Cigarette Filters and Polonium-210

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

This document from the Lorillard Tobacco Company confirms that the industry had knowledge of radioactive Polonium-210 in cigarette smoke as early as 1966. This paper also gives us an idea of how much of this radioactive element is contained in sidestream (secondhand) smoke vs. mainstream smoke (three times more).

In 1981 Edward Martell of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado determined that radioactive Po-210 was present in tobacco smoke and described the mechanism through which it contributed to lung cancer in smokers. According to a 1981 article from New Scientist Magazine, the document says, "Edward Martell's calculations show that the small area surrounding each smoke particle is exposed to radiation at a rate 1,000 times higher than that produced by the same quantity of radioactivity spread uniformly throughout the lung." The article recommended that people wash ashtrays separately from household eating dishes because of the potential for radiation exposure. (PM Bates No. 2012611295).

Title: Cigarette Filters and Polonium-210
Type of Document: Scientific Report
Author: Kelley, TF (Bio Research Labs)
Page Count: 2
Bates No.: 80004401/4402