9 Sep 2019

Polonium - few redeeming features

From Elemental, 8:00 am on 9 September 2019

Polonium will be forever linked with the names Curie and Litvinenko and has negligible desirable features.

Polonium (symbol Po and atomic number 84) is a radioactive metal, discovered by the Curies and named after Marie’s home country of Poland, in 1898, a period when the country didn’t actually exist.

Po210 accumulates in tobacco and as a result cigarettes contain quite high levels of it, says Prof Allan Blackman, in ep 61 of Elemental.

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Photo: RNZ

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Professor Allan Blackman is at Auckland University of Technology.