Distribution of polonium-210 in the human lung. [Comparison between smokers and non-smokers]
Distribution of polonium-210 in the human lung. [Comparison between smokers and non-smokers] Polonium-210 has been measured in the tracheobronchial tree and parenchyma of cigarette smokers and nonsmokers in order to determine whether this ..cap alpha.. emitter is retained in smokers. The ratio of /sup 210/Po concentration in the tracheobronchial tree (T) to that in the lung parenchyma (P) in nonsmokers is T/P = 2.7 +- 0.5. The ratio in smokers is T/P = 1.1 +- 0.2. The difference in these ratios can be related to retention of /sup 210/Po, or its /sup 210/Pb precursor in the parenchymal tissue. About 5 pCi deposited and retained on alveolar surfaces and an average excess of 0.3 pCi /sup 210/Po retained on the tracheobronchial tree is estimated for smokers. Measurements in exsmokers result in a ratio (T/P) = 0.8 +- 0.4 and is possibly related to long-term retention of deposited /sup 210/Pb in alveolar tissue.
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