Determination of Po-210 content in cigarette smoke using a smoking machine: A case study of Iranian cigarettes

Mária Horváth, Amin Shahrokhi, Péter Bátor, Edit Tóth-Bodrogi, T. Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Po-210 content of tobacco has been known for a long time, however, different results can be found about the estimated amount of Po-210 that is inhaled by humans as a result of smoking cigarettes. Because of the unique properties of Po-210, the smoking machines available on the market are not suitable because of their failure to quantitatively collect Po-210 for measurement. Therefore, to estimate precisely the amount of Po-210 entering the lungs as a result of smoking, a smoking machine and sampling protocol based on relevant ISO standards - ISO-3308, ISO-3402 and ISO-4387 - was developed. A 5% HCl solution was found to be the best absorber of Po-210 from smoke. Seventeen different brands of cigarettes distributed in Iran were used to validate the new machine and sampling protocol. The Po-210 concentration was determined by alpha spectrometry; the cigarette smoke solution underwent combined acid treatment after adding a Po-209 tracer. The Po-210 activity concentration of cigarettes sold in Iran was between 9.7 ± 1.2 and 26.5 ± 4.6 mBq/cigarette and it was determined that there was no relationship between the Po-210 and nicotine contents of cigarette smoke. Additionally, it was found that 15 ± 10% of the cigarette Po-210 was transferred to the mainstream smoke.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 29 2016


  • Cigarette
  • Inhalation dose
  • Po-210
  • Radiation dose
  • Smoking machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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