It is known that tobacco leaves may contain 210Pb and 210Po in significant concentrations. The cumulative alpha-radiation dose due to the radioactive content of inhaled cigarette smoke and the increasing number of lung cancer cases explain the importance of the investigation. The present study investigated the activity concentrations of these two radionuclides in 29 Hungarian cigarette samples. The relation between 210Po/210Pb activity and nicotine/tar content of these cigarettes was also examined. 210Po was determined by alpha spectrometry using a PIPS detector after chemical leaching and spontaneous deposition of 210Po on a high nickel-content (25%) stainless steel disk. The 210Pb activity was calculated from the 210Po originated from the decay of 210Pb after a waiting period of eight months. The 210Po activity concentrations of the measured types of cigarettes ranged from 10.0 to 33.5 mBq/cigarette, and the activity of 210Pb varied from 9.6 to 32.5 mBq/cigarette. The average annual committed effective dose is estimated to be 185.6 ± 70.6 μ Sv / y and 58.7 ± 22.7 μ Sv / y due to cigarette smoking (20 cigarettes/day) for 210Po and 210Pb, respectively.
- Dose assessment
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