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Commentary :: Environment : Media : Politics
Russian Spy Assassinated With Common Cig Contaminant
28 Nov 2006
If a high dose of radiation element, Polonium 210, can be a tool of quick assassination, lower doses (as in typical cigarettes) are no less tools of homicide. Ask health officials, et al, WHY Po-210 is still permitted in cigarettes, with zero warning to anyone.
Rads in the News

Late November '06 news is about that Russian spy allegedly assassinated by Putin. The poison was found to be
Polonium 210. Media voices say it's the most deadly
stuff etc etc etc. (It's "Polonium" because Polish
Marie Curie discovered it.)

Where else do we hear about Polonium 210? typical (homicidally unregulated) cigarettes via the still legal use of mined phosphate
fertilizers contaminated with Polonium 210.

Prof. Edw. Martell once determined that Po-210 is
"...the primary agent of bronchial cancer in
smoking." That was in mid 70s. How many victims
since his warning was ignored?

So, if Polonium 210 is so deadly, why is it that our
gallant, concerned "health conscious" anti smoking
officials (even, troublingly, physicians!) don't do
or say anything or warn anyone or demand instant bans on such stuff in cigarettes? How many victims of
so-called "smoking related" diseases are checked with a Geiger counter? Zero? Less? How many medical students in, say, Oncology 101, are taught about this?

["To grow what the tobacco industry calls "more
flavorful" tobacco, US farmers use high-phosphate
fertilizers. The phosphate is taken from a rock
mineral, apatite, that is ground into powder,
dissolved in acid and further processed. Apatite rock
also contains radium, and the radioactive elements
lead 210 and polonium 210. ....."]

Yes, there's also Lead 210 and Cadmium (both toxic
heavy metals, of course) that come along with those
phosphate fertilizers. Cargill, a "proud" sponsor of
"public" radio, is a top producer of these
phosphates. No wonder we don't hear about cig
radiation on NPR...or rads on SALT!, or the
phosphate/Alzheimer's connection, or any of it.
Thank you Garrison Kiellor and Click and Clack, et
al, for making "Public" radio seem so down-home,
funny, trustworthy, and friendly to so many. (from
Philly's own Lynn Landes.)

Even then Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once
warned of the dangers of rads in cigs...the virtually
inevitable cell damage, and cancer. Reader's Digest,
top selling mag in the world at the time, had a piece
on this. Not exactly a secret thing. Where's the
issue now? Gone. To this day, it's "legal" to use
radioactive phosphate fertilizers on tobacco...and to
evade scrutiny, liabilities, and prosecution.

Even the EPA knows about it...but spins it a bit.
EPA's level of concern for cancer-causing radiation
in "2ndhand smoke" is non-existent.

It is likely that the mid-80s exposé of the rads in
cigs was more about distracting from the
pesticide/chlorine/dioxin parts of cigs...the parts
that would indict the likes of big oil, plastics,
bleached paper, synthetic fabrics, pharms, waste
disposal firms, etc etc, and all their investors and
insurers. I imagine though, that Big Radiation
didn't enjoy being a fall guy, so...that all ended.
No little rad symbols are found on our Marlboros.
Since then...just (unpatented, natural, traditionally-used) tobacco has been the fall guy...along with those darn disobedient "smokers", and of course, utterly
non-complicit bar/restaurant proprietors. Shades of Reefer Madness.

By the way...the presence of dioxin in smoke
from chlorine-contaminated cigs presents duped
consumers with not just deadly rads but with The
Promoter Effect as the dioxin accelerates the cell
damages caused by the rads and every other

Industry and gov't tolerance of this combo of rads
and dioxin, in products that are inherently addictive
at that, is a crime of some significance.

We are talking about Radiation Rods (and/or Dioxin
Dowels), not just "cigarettes". Certainly not just
"tobacco products".
See also:

This work is in the public domain
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