30 Israelis to be tested for radiation poisoning related to spy case

Health Ministry says it "does not expect" those who stayed at Mayfair Hotel were exposed to "significant amounts" of radioactive material.

litvinenko 88 (photo credit: )
litvinenko 88
(photo credit: )
The Health Ministry will this week invite some 30 Israelis who stayed in London's Millennium Mayfair Hotel between October 31 and November 2, 2006 for an epidemiological examination to rule out the possibility that they were exposed to radioactive polonium during their visit. As a result of the death of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko from polonium 210 poisoning, the British authorities sent the Foreign Ministry a list of Israelis who stayed at the hotel during those three days. The Foreign Ministry in turn contacted the Health Ministry, which said on Friday that it "did not expect" that those who stayed at the hotel were exposed to "significant amounts" of the radioactive material or would develop any symptoms. Nevertheless, they should be checked, the ministry said. British authorities examined 3,000 people suspected of having been exposed after the dissident's mysterious death, and found that only eight people had been exposed, but to "insignificant amounts and without symptoms," the ministry said. Anyone who is not contacted by the Health Ministry but was at the London hotel during the aforementioned period should report on Sunday to the District Health Office at 91 Rehov Herzl in Ramle. Urine samples may be taken. More information (in Hebrew) can be obtained from the ministry Web site at www.health.gov.il.