The Activity Concentration of 210Po in Romanian Commercial Cigarettes and the Radiation Exposure Estimation Derived from their Regular Consumption

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Due to the relatively high activity concentrations of 210Po that are found in tobacco, cigarette smoking has been found to be the principal pathway of the intake of this radionuclide. The 210Po concentrations in the lung tissues may contribute significantly to an increase in the internal radiation dose and in the number of instances of lung cancer observed among smokers. The study of 210Po in tobacco is required due to its potential for human radiation exposure through ingestion and inhalation. The risk factor caused by 210Po in Romanian commercial cigarettes is not yet evaluated. Ten of the most frequently smoked brands of cigarettes sold in Romania were investigated in this work for this purpose. The activity concentration of 210Po was determined by alpha spectrometry using a PIPS detector after chemical leaching and spontaneous deposition of 210Po on a stainless steel disc from diluted HCl solution. The samples were spiked with 209Po for chemical recovery calculation. The 210Po activity concentrations of the measured types of cigarettes ranged from 4.65 to 10.22 mBq sample−1 and the resulted average concentration of 210Po isotopes is 8.35±0.80 mBq cigarette−1 (the errors form a 2σ interval of confidence). When comparing the results of this study with the activity concentration values reported by other countries it was found that the results of this study are in the lower end of the world range. The estimation of this study shows that cigarette smokers, who are smoking one pack (20 cigarettes) per day, are exposed to an effective dose of 75.51 μSv y−1.

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Radiation Protection Dosimetry, v. 157, issue 1, p. 120-124