Strontium (Sr) is a silver-yellow alkaline metal used in the fireworks industry. It has 4 stable isotopes and 12 unstable isotopes. Strontium-90 is one of its unstable isotopes, resulting out of a nuclear detonation.
Strontium-90 is a radioactive isotope of Sr (Strontium), resulting out of the nuclear fission of plutonium and uranium. Strontium itself is not radioactive, however its isotope 90Sr is as it undergoes Beta decay.90Sr has a half-life of 28.8 years.
All nuclear weapon tests and deployments result in large amounts of 90Sr fallout. Nuclear tests beginning with the 1940s, disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima etc. are sources of 90Sr release, together with controlled nuclear reactions.
90Sr can be inhaled or ingested from contaminated soil, crops and water, and, once inside the human body; most of it passes through the body, however the percentage that accumulates is extremely toxic as it remains in the bones, bone marrow and teeth, and causes cancer.
Strontium-85 is used in medicine to detect the increased levels of calcium in bone fractures and tumors.
Strontium-85 is a radioactive isotope that has a half-life of 64.84 days. It emits radioactive gamma-rays that are metabolized by the body in a manner close to calcium. This resemblance allows doctors to use strontium injections in automatic calcium body scannings or bone imaging.
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Radioactive strontium can be absorbed into the bones of small children. Large doses of trontium-85 displace calcium in the bones and cause chronic renal failure, bone diformity and tumors.