Reports

Source of Lead-210 and Polonium-210 in Tobacco

Science  19 Aug 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3738, pp. 880-882
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3738.880

Abstract

Test plants were grown within a chamber enriched with radon-222 in the atmosphere, in tobacco fields with different sources of phosphate-containing fertilizer, and in culture containing lead-210 in the nutrient solution. Harvested leaves were subjected to three curing conditions. The major portion of the lead-210 in the plant was probably absorbed through the roots. Airborne radon 222 and its daughters contributed much less to the plant's content of lead-210 and of polonium-210.The stage of leaf development and the methods used to cure the leaf affected the final amount of polonium-210 in tobacco leaf.