Originally posted by wiredamerican
There is a conspiracy that the radiation in cigarette smoke is actually beneficial to the human body and prevents many diseases that non smokers get normally .
Government health organizations say smoking is bad because the big business owners and think-tanks figured out that smokers need far less health care than non smokers.
Radioactivity of tobacco leaves and radiation dose induced from smoking.
The radioactivity in tobacco leaves collected from 15 different regions of Greece and before cigarette production was studied in order to find out any association between the root uptake of radionuclides from soil ground by the tobacco plants and the effective dose induced to smokers from cigarette tobacco due to the naturally occurring primordial radionuclides , such as 226Ra and 210Pb of the uranium series and 228Ra of the thorium series and/or man-made radionuclides, such as 137Cs of Chernobyl origin. Gamma-ray spectrometry was applied using Ge planar and coaxial type detectors of high resolution and high efficiency. It was concluded that the activities of the radioisotopes of radium, 226Ra and 228Ra in the tobacco leaves reflected their origin from the soil by root uptake rather than fertilizers used in the cultivation of tobacco plants. Lead-210 originated from the air and was deposited onto the tobacco leaves and trapped by the trichomes. Potassium-40 in the tobacco leaves was due to root uptake either from soil or from fertilizer. The cesium radioisotopes 137Cs and 134Cs in tobacco leaves were due to root uptake and not due to deposition onto the leaf foliage as they still remained in soil four years after the Chernobyl reactor accident, but were absent from the atmosphere because of the rain washout (precipitation) and gravitational settling. The annual effective dose due to inhalation for adults (smokers) for 226Ra varied from 42.5 to 178.6 microSv/y (average 79.7 microSv/y), while for 228Ra from 19.3 to 116.0 microSv/y (average 67.1 microSv/y) and for 210Pb from 47.0 to 134.9 microSv/y (average 104.7 microSv/y), that is the same order of magnitude for each radionuclide. The sum of the effective doses of the three radionuclides varied from 151.9 to 401.3 microSv/y (average 251.5 microSv/y). The annual effective dose from 137Cs of Chernobyl origin was three orders of magnitude lower as it varied from 70.4 to 410.4 nSv/y (average 199.3 nSv/y).
Originally posted by BlackPoison94
]How does radioactive material get into a cigarette?
The tobacco leaves used in making cigarettes contain radioactive material, particularly lead-210 and polonium-210. The radionuclide content of tobacco leaves depends heavily on soil conditions and fertilizer use.
Soils that contain elevated radium lead to high radon gas emanations rising into the growing tobacco crop. Radon rapidly decays into a series of solid, highly radioactive metals (radon decay products). These metals cling to dust particles which in turn are collected by the sticky tobacco leaves. The sticky compound that seeps from the trichomes is not water soluble, so the particles do not wash off in the rain. There they stay, through curing process, cutting, and manufacture into cigarettes.Lead-210 and Polonium-210 can be absorbed into tobacco leaves directly from the soil. But more importantly, fine, sticky hairs (called trichomes) on both sides of tobacco leaves grab airborne radioactive particles.
For example, phosphate fertilizers, favored by the tobacco industry, contain radium and its decay products (including lead-210 and polonium-210). When phosphate fertilizer is spread on tobacco fields year after year, the concentration of lead-210 and polonium-210 in the soil rises.