David Barclay writes: Polonium 210 is so toxic that it is difficult to explain just how dangerous it is – a fatal dose is almost a million times less than is needed for cyanide, for example.
Its danger comes from its high radioactivity. It decays by giving out alpha radiation and once Po210 is absorbed and is circulating in the body, it silently and fatally damages each individual cell. Half of any amount of Po210 decays in this way every 138 days.
It is impossible to physically see what would be a fatal amount of solid polonium, making it impossible for anyone to detect that they have been given the poison. Obviously, this also makes it remarkably easy to give to someone in a drink or food.
Strangely though, it is completely safe to handle, because alpha radiation is stopped by even a sheet of paper or by human skin. It can be carried around in a test tube for years without harming anyone, until it gets into someone’s blood stream.
I believe it did get into Yasser Arafat’s bloodstream and here is why. [Continue reading…]