- 2006 Alexander Litvinen died in London hospital
- people worldwide smoke almost six trillion cigarettes a year, and each one delivers a small amount of polonium 210 to the lungs.
- The tobacco industry has known about polonium in cigarettes for nearly 50
- The polonium in cigarettes are put up in smoke when smoked, thats why there were no traces in the ashes
- means that smokers had polonium in their lungs
- In 1964, scientist Vilma R. Hunt discovered that polonium in cigarettes turns into vapor, meaning that smokers were inhaling it directly
- Some scientists suggest that long-term exposure to polonium causes 2% of all smoking-related cancers
- Researchers at Philip Morris were not allowed to publish their findings because they proved that polonium was in cigarettes, and that it was harmful
- T. C. Tso, an FDA scientist, estimated that up to 50% of polonium could be removed through better fertilizer choices
Cigarettes pose a widespread health problem. After all, more than six trillion of them are smoked every year. There are numerous carcinogens that lurk in each cigarette. However, one is relatively easy to remove: polonium. Polonium 210 is a radioactive isotope that has been known to be harmful for over 50 years. It is found in cigarettes, and is considered to be the cause of 2% of all smoking-related cancers. The main source of polonium 210 in cigarettes is a certain type of fertilizer that is used for tobacco growing. Some scientists estimate that 50% of polonium could be removed from cigarettes by switching fertilizers. However, tobacco companies have been refusing to do so, despite acknowledging the harmful effects of polonium in internal memos. However, the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gives the FDA greater control over aspects of cigarette production. Polonium will probably be the first carcinogen to regulated under this new act.
t was very shocking to learn about polonium and cigarettes. I didn't know that cigarettes had any sort of radioactive hazard. I was also disappointed that nothing had ever been done, despite cigarette industries knowing that polonium was a serious health hazard. Researchers working for these companies managed to develop ways to reduce polonium content in cigarettes, but they were never implemented. These manufacturing procedures that would have saved lives were probably never put into action because they would have costed the cigarette companies money. Again, this is the theme of short-term vs. long-term coming into effect. Hopefully, these companies will be held responsible for their actions.