8 December 2006
As outlined yesterday preliminary results received from seven members of staff working in The Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel on Nov 1 show that they appear to have had some exposure to Polonium-210.
Following this new information we felt it prudent to assess any other staff who also were working in The Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel, on Oct 31 and Nov 2. We are working with the hotel management to try and identify any other relevant staff. We have also advised that any member of the public who were in The Pine Bar on the 31 Oct and Nov 2 (in addition to Nov 1) contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 who will pass on their details to the HPA for further assessment.
Our advice has also been that anyone who was in The Pine Bar on Nov 1 and who has not yet contacted NHS Direct to do so.
The Agency has written to provide further advice to the people who were in The Pine Bar on Nov 1 and who have already contacted NHS Direct. A special helpline, staffed by experienced HPA staff, has been set up for these NHS Direct callers to provide further advice over the next few days. If these people wish, a urine sample will be tested. Arrangements will be made for information to be provided to international guests.
The Pine Bar remains closed and is part of the police investigation. The HPA has monitored all remaining public areas and no risk to the public health risk has been found.
On the basis of the monitoring results received so far from several other sites we still believe that the risk to the general public of having been exposed to polonium-210 is likely to be very low.
It can only represent a radiation hazard if it is taken into the body - by breathing it in, by taking it into the mouth, or if it gets into a wound. It is not a radiological hazard as long as it remains outside the body. Most traces of it can be eliminated through hand-washing, or washing machine and dishwasher cycles for clothes, plates etc
Test results update
The Agency's public health follow-up has included testing urine samples from those in close contact with Mr. Litvinenko, those who worked or were present in the affected areas and, where appropriate, those who called for advice via NHS Direct.
The police investigation continues. We will provide further public information as appropriate.
Notes to Editors:
Last reviewed: 30 December 2008