Can you buy Polonium 210?

10 December 2006



On last week's show you were talking about polonium 210 being difficult to obtain but in fact anyone can buy it easily. In the US there's a product sold for neutralising static on lenses and laboratory equipment. By using Polonium 210 to can irradiate surfaces and allow static charge to disperse. It's called Static Master and I think it's been on the market for a very long time. They cost $30 a piece, I've also tracked down a vendor in the UK. Is it common knowledge that you can get hold of this so easily?


Despite this, it is still difficult to obtain. See for a full explanation. Basically, you'd need to spend millions on thousands of units, and then purify it all, before coming up with a decent amount. Frankly, its be easier to do same with americium from smoke alarms … Aside from the brushes, most polonium used in devices is electroplated on to a metal base – and that like saying that silver-coated steel forks are a good source of silver. They're not, because you have to melt the stuff down and go through a complicated separation procedure to get it away from the steel once its been electroplated.


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