Any Marine Death Clues in Polonium-210/Lead-210 Ratios or Lead & Mercury levels?

Foot of snow in the forecast for later this week.  ;-)  Nov. 23, 2015

Polonium-210 flashback:

NASA_Polonium210

So… the Polonium-210 / Lead-210 ratio in precipitation samples varied from 0.02 to 0.09 with an average of 0.06 at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Southern Mississippi… However, this ratio (Po-210/Pb-210) during the Fukushima fallout was up to 1.5 on March 23.

Pb-210 decays to Pb-206, by way of Bismuth-210 and then Polonium-210: http://periodictable.com/Isotopes/082.210/index2.full.prod.html  Excerpt showing the end of various decay chains:

So why would there be a surge in Po-210, 2500% more than the likely also-increasing levels of Pb-210?  I hadn’t actually asked that question before…

While the normal Po210/Pb210 ratio is 0.06; or in reverse, the normal Pb210/Po210 ratio is about 16.7.    The first ratio, Po210/Pb210 was 25 times (= 2500% if that) higher than normal, meaning 25 times more Polonium-210 than normal when compared to Pb-210.  (So the actual increase could very well be higher, as ratios can hide that…)    While there’s normally far more Pb210 than Po210, there actually was more Po210 than Pb210 after Fukushima.  Why would that be?

At the time I was only learning that te alpha radiation from the decay of Po-210 is very intense and that this is a far greater health hazard that the traces of Cesium-137 found in fish.  This was always pitched (by ‘experts’) as if Po-210 is natural, unlike artificial ones like Cesium-137, Iodine-131, Cobalt-60, Manganese-54, etc.  I would think they’d go up together, given they’re part of the same decay chain.  I figured that Polonium-210 detections would also increase, due to all the Plutonium, Uranium and Thorium sent up into the atmosphere and flushed into the Pacific Ocean, and I’ve wondered if this plays a role in the ecological disturbances that have been plaguing the Pacific Ocean in recent years.

“Way back then” (in spring and summer 2015), I speculated if extra Polonium-210 was created due to activation effects of neutron emissions:

I figured that if omni-present stable Lead-208 (natural stable lead is about 1% Pb-204, 24% Pb-206, 22% Pb-207, and 53% Pb-208) is bombarded with neutrons it would become Pb-209.  Lead-209 quickly (half life only 3.2 hours) beta-decays into Bi-209.  If there was enough neutron flux to create Pb-209, I speculate that there probably would be enough too for Bi-209 to turn into Bi-210.  Bi-209 + neutrons => forms bismuth-210, which has a half-life of 5 days. Bismuth-210 decays into polonium-210 through beta decay.  Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138.39 days, and becomes Pb-206.  I raised that possibility in (May 25, 2015), “The Gist of that Pondering”

That’s one way to end up with very abnormal amounts of Po-210, I think.

Wondering some more… If that double neutron uptake path wasn’t how so much more Po-210 was created, then which other possibilities are there?  On this decay map, all leading to Po-210, I marked the main path way (which passed by Pb-210) in red, to two other veins, which bypass the Pb-210 state, in yellow:  [Click to enlarge]

DecaytowardsPo210_annot1

SOURCE without annotations: periodictable.com/Isotopes/084.210/index2.full.prod.html

So, I suppose, the decay of Uranium-226 and Neptunium-226 [=Np] are potential contributors to end up with additional Po-210, without also increasing Pb-210 levels, as are U-218, U-222 (I marked the 3 Uraniums in purple), Protactinum-214 [=Pa], Pa-218 and Th-210.  I don’t know if those are/were in Fukushima fallout, though.

This is just “a note to myself” in case I start digging into this again some day.  I thought it was mention-worthy.

One of the things I find odd is that in all these alleged ‘investigations’ into what’s causing the uptick in marine life distress (from sea stars falling apart to sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales, as well as various birds), washing ashore dead or badly emacipated, is that I have yet to read about the levels of various lead isotopes found in the various tissues sampled from these animals; as well as their specific lead isotope ratios, as well as mercury levels.  Many of the radioisotopes may do harm with the radiation they emit (mostly Alpha and Beta radiation) on their way to becoming stable, but the stable states are often health hazards as well, as they tend to be heavy metals like lead and mercury.   One of the effects of lead poisoning is impaired brain function, disorientation and lack of appetite.  What if they’re not dying “because there’s no food”, but because they’re too sick to eat?

Anyways…  Just wondering.  And wondering some more…

Some lead data is available for comparison, though; albeit generaly just for ‘lead’, not the various isotopes of lead, the latter which could shed more light on the antropogenic origins having to do with, for instance, either coal burning, or nuclear fallout.  Here’s some baseline data for Sperm Whales:

h/t Ocean Alliance:

Whale_LeadLevels2000_2005

Just putting it out there.  I don’t know what’s going on either. 

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Meanwhile in my land of origin…

1353.jpg

SOURCE:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/22/national-emergency-belgians-respond-with-cats

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Disclaimer & If you know of recent autopsies of stranded marine life that dó include isotope specific data for lead and mercury, please leave a link.  I’d like to have a look at it.  Tx.

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4 Responses to Any Marine Death Clues in Polonium-210/Lead-210 Ratios or Lead & Mercury levels?

  1. Andy says:

    …”too sick to eat ?” struck a familiar chord, after seeing these clips-

    https://flyingcuttlefish.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/ken-jay/

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