Lung cancer: is the increasing incidence due to radioactive polonium in cigarettes?

This paper presents clinical, experimental, and epidemiologic evidence to help explain the rapidly increasing incidence of primary lung cancer, with recently observed reversal in leading cell type from squamous cell to adenocarcinoma. It postulates that this may be due to changes in modern cigarettes, with or without filters, which allow inhalation of increased amounts of radioactive lead and polonium and decreased amounts of benzopyrene. This hypothesis is based upon measurements of increased concentrations of radioactive polonium in the lungs of cigarette smokers, in modern tobaccos grown since 1950, and in high-phosphate fertilizers used for tobacco farming in industrialized countries. Critical support for this thesis is based upon experimental animal studies in which lung cancers that resemble adenocarcinomas are induced with as little as 15 rads of radioactive polonium, equal to one fifth the dosage inhaled by cigarette smokers who average two packs a day during a 25-year period.
AuthorsJ Marmorstein
JournalSouthern medical journal (South Med J) Vol. 79 Issue 2 Pg. 145-50 (Feb 1986) ISSN: 0038-4348 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID3003925 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Benzopyrenes
  • Fertilizers
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Lead
  • Polonium
  • Adenocarcinoma (etiology)
  • Alpha Particles
  • Animals
  • Benzopyrenes (analysis)
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell (etiology)
  • Cricetinae
  • Female
  • Fertilizers (adverse effects)
  • Humans
  • Lead (analysis)
  • Lung (analysis)
  • Lung Neoplasms (etiology)
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced (etiology)
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Polonium (adverse effects, analysis)
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco (analysis)
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution

Join CureHunter, for free Research Interface BASIC access!

Take advantage of free CureHunter research engine access to explore the best drug and treatment options for any disease. Find out why thousands of doctors, pharma researchers and patient activists around the world use CureHunter every day.
Realize the full power of the drug-disease research network!

Choose Username:
Verify Password: