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An experimental analysis of the contribution of 210Po and of 210Po produced by 210Pb decay to the gross alpha-particle activity of water samples.

Research paper by Michael F MF Arndt, Lynn E LE West

Indexed on: 13 Aug '08Published on: 13 Aug '08Published in: Health physics



Abstract

The contribution of 210Po and of 210Po produced by 210Pb decay to the gross alpha-particle activity of water samples by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Method 900.0 is investigated as a function of residue mass and geometry and time between sample collection and analysis. It is shown that these factors can cause the contribution to gross alpha-particle activity of 210Po to be up to 2.0 and 1.1 times the initial 210Po activity for grab and quarterly composite samples, respectively, and can cause the contribution to gross alpha-particle activity of 210Po from 210Pb decay to be up to 1.1 times and 1.5 times the 210Pb activity for grab and quarterly composite samples, respectively. It is also shown qualitatively that at least for some residues, there is a loss of polonium due to volatilization when the sample is heated over a flame.