Cigarettes contain radioactivity
Cigarettes contain measurable amounts of radioactivity in the form of polonium-210 and lead -210. A researcher working with US Department of Agriculture discovered that the radioactivity came from phosphatic fertilizers which contained uranium and its decay product radium-226. Radium decays into a series of daughter products including polonium-210 and lead 210 which get airborne. Sticky hair-like structures on both sides of tobacco leaves collect these from the atmosphere. Tobacco roots also collect radioactivity from soil.
In 1976, scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre showed that that the polonium -210 levels in Indian tobacco are 19 to 15 times lower than those in US Tobacco. Actually it is a small matter, as, cigarette smoke contains over 3000 chemicals other than polonium-210 and many of these are cancer -inducing.
Sir Richard Doll eminent British epidemiologist at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Studies Unit at Oxford declared thus: “It now seems that about half of all cigarettes smokers will eventually be killed of their habit”.
Researchers have estimated that a person smoking 1 ½ packs of cigarettes daily receives a dose to certain regions of the lung equal to 300 x-ray films of the chest per year. In 1990, the US Surgeon General declared on US national television that radioactivity in cigarettes accounts for at least 90 percent of all smoking related cancers.
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