Tobacco Smoke is  RADIOACTIVE (But you're not supposed to know it)
And it's largely Alpha Particles; the  WORST KIND of radioactivity <ul><li>Radioactivity (from Uranium, Plutonium, Radium,...
Why is Tobacco Radioactive??? <ul><li>Around 1940, American tobacco farmers began using a cheap phosphate fertilizer made ...
This   Can't   be Legal ! ! !  ( Can it?! ) <ul><li>It's illegal to dose someone with enough radioactivity to injure them ...
But Tobacco Smoke is Different <ul><li>The 'background' radiation we all get hits our skin, and we've evolved to handle th...
More Than Enough Radiation To Kill <ul><li>A cigarette holds about 2 to 5 mrem. Two or three cigarettes contain about a we...
The Government's Stance is Simple <ul><li>Our government knows (but the public does not know) . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li><...
For More Information . . . <ul><li>You can read a blog entry with more details. Here's a shortcut address you can type int...
What Are Radioactive Substances? <ul><li>No, it's not from cellphones. Those are radio waves , generally considered harmle...
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Tobacco Smoke is Radioactive (But Don't Tell Anybody)

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Tobacco smoke is radioactive, but it wasn't always so. Using a cheap fertilizer that improves the taste is the culprit.
Second-hand smoke is radioactive, too.
Next time you wonder why smokers have so many health problems, remember that their bodies are radioactive, and they'll remain radioactive for thousands of years.

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Tobacco Smoke is Radioactive (But Don't Tell Anybody)

  1. 1. Tobacco Smoke is RADIOACTIVE (But you're not supposed to know it)
  2. 2. And it's largely Alpha Particles; the WORST KIND of radioactivity <ul><li>Radioactivity (from Uranium, Plutonium, Radium, etc.) comes in three varieties. One ray, one very tiny particle, and one massive chunk. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1. Gamma Rays go right through everything except lead. Visible light (photons), X-Rays, and Ultraviolet are also rays. Rays have no mass or weight. Rays &quot;above&quot; light (ionizing) can damage your body. Rays &quot;below&quot; light (non-ionizing) are considered generally harmless. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>2. A freed electron is Beta radiation . Electrons are extremely tiny, with almost no mass, and are stopped by thick concrete or lead. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>3. Alpha particles are made of 2 neutrons plus 2 protons, the same as a helium nucleus. Alpha particles are stopped by almost anything, even paper (or you). They are actual chunks of matter that weigh about as much as 7,000 electrons. Whatever they hit is instantly destroyed. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why is Tobacco Radioactive??? <ul><li>Around 1940, American tobacco farmers began using a cheap phosphate fertilizer made from the mineral Apatite . Besides being cheap, it also makes tobacco taste 'sweeter' </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps you've sampled foreign or &quot;Native American&quot; cigarettes that taste terrible compared to American brands. It's the fertilizer. </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately, Apatite is naturally radioactive . Fertilizers made from it are radioactive. Each year, more radioactive fertilizer is put on the farmer's field, making the soil even more radioactive. </li></ul><ul><li>The radioactive particles are blown from the soil and stick to the gooey surfaces of the tobacco plants. They remain attached through the drying and manufacturing processes. Burning frees them, and people inhale them with the tobacco smoke. </li></ul>
  4. 4. This  Can't   be Legal ! ! !  ( Can it?! ) <ul><li>It's illegal to dose someone with enough radioactivity to injure them -- that's assault, or even murder. </li></ul><ul><li>And, there are Federal Guidelines for radiating patients in a medical setting, and also for volunteers in an experimental setting. But there's no law against dosing someone with small amounts of radioactivity. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, we all get very tiny doses of radioactivity every day just from walking around. You've probably heard of Radon gas (mostly in New England basements), how more cosmic rays are found in an airplane or in Denver (since there's less atmosphere to block them from our sun), as well as from stone, coal, bricks, nuclear power plants, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>These are very tiny doses. About 1 mrem per day, or 365 mrem per year . The many different kinds of radiation are just lumped together. </li></ul>
  5. 5. But Tobacco Smoke is Different <ul><li>The 'background' radiation we all get hits our skin, and we've evolved to handle that. Damaged skin just sloughs off when you bathe and goes down the drain. The radioactive particle is gone. </li></ul><ul><li>The radioactive particles in tobacco smoke go into the lungs, then get glued there by the tar in the smoke, so they stay right there. They'll remain radioactive for many thousands of years. </li></ul><ul><li>Atomic radiation dosage is cumulative. It doesn't &quot;wear off.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Doubling the dose causes more than double the damage, because you grow weaker with increasing doses. </li></ul><ul><li>So, how much radiation, and how much damage? </li></ul>
  6. 6. More Than Enough Radiation To Kill <ul><li>A cigarette holds about 2 to 5 mrem. Two or three cigarettes contain about a week's worth of background radiation. </li></ul><ul><li>But it's stuck on delicate internal lung tissue , not skin . </li></ul><ul><li>A pack a day for 40 years delivers about as much as the background radiation you'd get if you lived over 2,000 years . </li></ul><ul><li>That's around 600,000 mrem , on average, in the lungs. </li></ul><ul><li>As little as 100,000 mrem is considered deadly. </li></ul><ul><li>Only this dose is all delivered inside your lungs, not skin. </li></ul><ul><li>That's about 30 lifetimes worth of radiation, but put in your lungs . </li></ul><ul><li>One last thing. All scientists agree on one fact: </li></ul><ul><li>There is no &quot;safe&quot; dose of nuclear radiation .It's ALL harmful . </li></ul><ul><li>What does the U.S. Government say about it? </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Government's Stance is Simple <ul><li>Our government knows (but the public does not know) . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Washington gets a lot of money from tobacco taxes, but the public -- not tobacco companies -- pays for tobacco's diseases. </li></ul><ul><li>A few Congressmen come from states that rely on tobacco. </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco lobbyists are powerful and very well-funded. </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco companies donate large sums of money to politicians . </li></ul><ul><li>The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Surgeon General's office, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and many state government agencies know about it. </li></ul><ul><li>They often label it &quot;harmless&quot; or &quot;undetermined.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Washington is under a lot of pressure to just ignore it. </li></ul>
  8. 8. For More Information . . . <ul><li>You can read a blog entry with more details. Here's a shortcut address you can type into your Internet browser: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>budurl.com/cigsecret    and then hit the Enter key. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Or, go to Google.com, Bing.com or Yahoo.com and search for: </li></ul><ul><li>tobacco radiation site:.gov   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>to see only the government's websites. Or, just  search for: </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>tobacco radiation   to see more websites on this topic. You can also check Wikipedia.org for more info. </li></ul><ul><li>The next slide lists some of the stuff that's in tobacco.  </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Are Radioactive Substances? <ul><li>No, it's not from cellphones. Those are radio waves , generally considered harmless (non-ionizing) unless they're too powerful. Same for power line transformers, TV towers, etc. Microwave ovens excite water molecules to cause heat from friction; no water, no heat. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Atomic / nuclear radiation is from metallic atoms so large that pieces of them fly off at nearly the speed of light. Uranium, Plutonium, Radium, Polonium, Radon (gaseous stage), radioactive lead, and many others. The time between each loss (half-life) depends on the one before it; some take less than a second, some take years. Throwing off a tiny electron (Beta) creates a Gamma Ray, too. They both pass through nearly everything. Throwing off a piece of nucleus (two neutrons and two protons, equivalent to a helium nucleus) is a massive Alpha particle, the most damaging of all, stopped by anything. After 10,000 years, half of a Uranium sample's atoms become lead, and are finally stable. The other half keeps splitting, until half of that is lead, and so on, forever. A half-life is the time it takes to become the next element. </li></ul>

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