Poisoning :: Public health issues related to Polonium-210 investigation

The Health Protection Agency is continuing to provide expert advice on the public health issues surrounding the death of Mr. Alexander Litvinenko. Throughout, our primary concern has been to protect the public.

We have monitored many locations identified by the police to assess whether there is any public health risk. Our investigations have confirmed there is no public health concern in the open public areas. On the basis of the monitoring results received so far from we believe that the risk to the general public of having been exposed to Polonium-210 (Po-210) is likely to be very low.

As a precautionary measure we have also followed up a small number of staff and guests at some of affected areas of the locations. Some were asked to provide urine samples for testing and (apart from those noted below) 369 urine samples tested by the Agency have found nothing of concern.

Results received from a further two members of staff at the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair, and a member of staff at the Sheraton Hotel, Park Lane, London, show that they have been exposed to low levels of Po-210. These cases are related to areas which have been sealed off to the public as part of the police investigation. The levels are not significant enough to result in any illness in the short term and any increased risk in the long term is likely to be very small.

These staff members have had intakes lower than the adult family member of Mr Litvinenko for whom tests also identified they had been exposed to Po-210.

All the open public areas at these hotels have been assessed and on current knowledge there is no significant public health risk.

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