Polonium 210Po and radiolead 210Pb belong to the uranium series decay chain with half-lives of 138.376 days and 22.2 years respectively. They are relatively toxic to humans, especially α-emitting 210Po, both chemically and radiologically, and are accumulated to a considerable extent. The main sources of chemical elements intake are air and food but their intensities depend on living place, level of local contamination, also radiochemical, diet habits and food origin. Also cigarettes are significant source of 210Po and 210Pb.
This study aimed to determine the activity concentration of polonium 210Po and radiolead 210Pb in human hair as well as investigate the utility of human hair as a non-invasive indicator of metal exposure for radiotoxic, naturally occurring 210Po and 210Pb, and find differences in their concentrations in hair considering the age, gender, hair color or diet of people who donated the samples. The results ranged from 0.10±0.01 to 12.8±0.80 Bq210Po kg-1 dw and from 0.44±0.04 to 52.9±4.45 Bq210Pbkg-1 dw. Statistical analysis showed significant differences within age, hair color and cigarette smoking groups. The data show hair could be used as an indicator of 210Po and 210Pb exposure in occupational and environmental surveys for various populations, although more detailed knowledge on analyzed objects should be taken.