Essay on Lead-212


Half-life of Lead-212

Half-life is the time taken by a radioactive isotope to decay to half its value. Therefore, the half-life of Lead-212 is 10.6 hours. Lead-212 takes 10.6 hours to decay to half its value in its radioactive life.

Types of Emitters

There are different types of emitters in radioactivity. Common emitters are alpha particles, bets particles, gamma particles, and X-ray particles (, n.d.). Alpha particles are types of radiation that do not travel far hence cannot go through thick materials, while beta particles are electrons emitted from an atom hence can travel faster and longer distances than the alpha particles. Gamma and X-ray particles are also called protons, and they are waves that travel more quickly at the speed of light; hence their penetration power is higher than alpha and beta particles.

Common uses for Lead-212

The lead-212 radioisotope is used in various fields. The common uses of this radioisotope are; used in the treatment of breast cancer, melanoma, and ovarian cancer treatment as well through alpha radio-immunotherapy and targeted alpha therapy.

Pathway Lead-212 takes

Lead-212 decays to bismuth-212 through emission with a half-life of 10.6 h, while bismuth-212 decays to lead-208, which is stable with a half-life of 61 minutes. Direct a-emission is considered the first route of disintegration of lead-212 to thallium-208, followed by emission of beta particles to lead-208. The second route of disintegration is by-emission to polonium-211, which is then followed by a-emission to lead-208.

Functions of Lead-212

The main function of lead-212 discovered by the Orano Medical group in 2009 was fighting cancer. Lead-212 is the new cancer treatment metal (Orano Group, n.d.).

Areas of the Body/Organs are Targeted and Imaged

Lead-212 is used in fighting cancer. The body or organs targeted and imaged by lead-212 are skin, breast, and ovary.

Amount of Lead-212 injected or ingested

The recommended exposure limit to lead-212 by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health at CDC test is 50 µg/m3for a time-weighted average of 8 hours so that the amount of lead in the blood of workers is maintained at less than 60 µg/dL of the whole blood (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2019).

Side Effects of Lead-212

Even though lead-212 is used in fighting infections like cancer, it has side effects such as environmental pollution and deterministic radiation effects on human beings, which can cause death or degeneration of a large number of cells at one time.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (2019, July 2). What are U.S. standards for lead levels?

Orano Group. (n.d.). Fighting cancer – Nuclear medicine and lead-212 (n.d.). Types of of Radioactive Emissions

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