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Home News centre National Press Releases 2007 Press Releases ›  Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

Update on public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

22 February 2007

The Health Protection Agency is continuing to provide expert advice on the public health issues surrounding the death of Mr. Alexander Litvinenko. Throughout, our primary concern has been to protect the public.

We have carried out an extensive monitoring programme of people and places identified by the police investigation. Our investigations have confirmed there is no public health concern in the open public areas. The monitoring results received so far show that the risk to the general public from any exposure to Polonium-210 (Po-210) is likely to be very low.

Test result update

Category 1

 

  • 569 people had results 'below reporting level' - below 30 millibecquerels (mBq) per day (natural levels of Po-210 in urine are typically in the range 5-15 mBq per day). It is therefore unlikely that any of these people had been exposed to Po-210

 

Category 2

  • 85 people had results above 30 mBq per day in their urine, but with a dose less than 1mSv indicating no public health risk, and no health concern to the individual, but probable contact with Po-210

 

Category 3a

 

  • 34 people had results above 1 millisievert (mSv), but below 6mSv indicating no public health risk, and no health concern to the individual, but probable contact with Po-210

 

There are 688 results in categories 1, 2 and 3a and these are NOT of health concern.

 

Category 3b

 

  • 16 people had results above 6mSv which are not significant enough to cause any illness in the short term and any increased risk in the long term is likely to be very small

 

 

Notes for Editors

  1. Further information is available on www.hpa.org.uk

  2. For information on locations go to the London Resilience Team website at www.londonprepared.gov.uk

  3. Media enquiries to HPA London press office on 020 7759 2824 or to HPA CRCE press office on 01235 822 744 or 01235 822 745. If you are calling out of hours please call 020 8200 4400.

Last reviewed: 30 December 2008