“Polonium (IPA: /pə(ʊ)ˈləʊniəm/) is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Po and atomic number 84. A rare radioactive metalloid, polonium is chemically similar to tellurium and bismuth and occurs in uranium ores. Polonium has been studied for possible use in heating spacecraft. It exists as a number of isotopes.
Polonium is a highly radioactive and toxic element and is very difficult to handle. Even in milligram or microgram amounts, handling 210Po is extremely dangerous, requiring specialized equipment and strict handling procedures. Alpha particles emitted by polonium will damage organic tissue easily if polonium is ingested, inhaled, or absorbed (though they do not penetrate the epidermis and hence are not hazardous if the polonium is outside the body).”
This whole Litvinenko Affair (sounds oh, so, James Bondish, doesn’t it) is truly bizarre. I wonder. Have the operatives who killed him been rewarded for being inventive, or reprimanded for using a method so baroque, that its detection was guaranteed?