Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Corrects Errors in Article About Litvinenko Killer Polonium-210

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:07 am

The L.A. Times ran this correction yesterday:

Polonium-210: An article Monday in Section A about the radioactive isotope that killed Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko said that traces of polonium-210 had been found in the U.S. and Europe; no traces have been found in the U.S. The article called polonium-210 the most stable of the element’s isotopes; two isotopes are more stable. The article said polonium-210 completely decays into lead after about three years; about 99.9% decays in that time.

Courtesy of Cathy’s World commenters “doug” and Bradley J. Fikes, I told you about two of these errors on January 3.

3 Responses to “L.A. Times Corrects Errors in Article About Litvinenko Killer Polonium-210”

  1. The latimes became persona non grata when The Tribune took the helm. Since then it has, pedictably degraded without any real local competition because of the sclerotic thinking of
    the Chicago Group who can’t lose their fear of the Sun-Times. Firing Robert Sheer and hiring the ‘JONAH’ Goldberg was the capper for me.

    Semanticleo (e8f396)

  2. Thank you for alerting us to that correction. (Why doesn’t the LA Times simply call it “Correction” and be done with it?)

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  3. This whole poisoning business has brought polonium into the spotlight – a previously obscure element which does however have some other claims to fame. For one, it is present in cigarette smoke (in tiny quantities, but the lethal dose is estimated at around 50 nanograms) along with a few other radioactive isotopes. Polonium is an alpha emitter, which means it is not dangerous unless breathed in or ingested.

    Last year Dr. Donald Tashkin at UCLA released a cohort study which looked at marijuana and lung cancer; no link was found. I found this interesting because marijuana contains no polonium, not being grown in the right conditions to acquire it.

    For years we have been told that it is the tar in cigarette smoke that gives you cancer – the benzoprene and nitrosamines. Maybe it’s the polonium. This would explain the marijuana dilemma as well as the fact that smokeless tobacco also gives you cancer.

    Russell (7519ba)

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