It costs about $ 4,000 per gram. It is used to create all sorts of nuclear things. There are 2 types of plutonium, one of which is the weapon and the other is used in the nuclear reactors. It is declared that the plutonium is "the most toxic substance on the Earth," and so dangerous that "even a speck of it can kill." We affirm that plutonium is toxic, and only highly qualified specialists work with it. The toxic properties of plutonium occur as a consequence of alpha-radioactivity. Plutonium in the degree of radiation hazard refers to the group A (radio nuclides with minimum significant activity of 10 3Bq), which own such radio nuclides as 229 Th, 232 U, 231 Ra, U natural, Th natural. Alpha particles are dangerous only if the source is in the body. Although plutonium emits more gamma-rays and neutrons that can penetrate in the body from the outside, their level is too low to cause harm. It is impossible to conduct a direct comparison of plutonium with other toxic substances, but the effect inhaled plutonium would increase the likelihood of cancer for several years, while mostly other toxins lead to immediate death. The most obvious comparison of toxins, for example, show that ricin, some snakes and poison cyanide are much more toxic than plutonium. It is worth considering the fact that all cleaners and detergents, which are in any kitchen can be more toxic, if we begin to absorb them inside.
Plutonium-239 has a life of 24,100 years. That is, it is radioactive for a very long time. It emits radioactivity in the form of alpha particles, which have low penetrating power and cannot, for example, penetrate through human skin. Radiation emitted by long-lived isotopes, is less dangerous than the radiation from the short-lived isotopes. Radioisotope with long half-life such as uranium-238 (half-life - 4.5 billion years) emits radiation at low speed in a geological time scale. Radioisotope with a low half-life, such as radon-222 (half-life - 3.82 days), emits radiation much faster, but for a shorter time. In recently declassified documents (WASH-1037, "Introduction to nuclear weapons", June 1972) states that the designation of plutonium as a "weapon of purity" is only an economic issue. On the one hand, the value of plutonium decreases with its increasing proportion of Pu-240. On the other, Pu-240 increases the critical mass. If we consider the risk to human health irradiated by plutonium, it should be noted that even inside plutonium is not too dangerous because passing through the gastrointestinal tract it is poorly absorbed and excreted from the body before it can be harmful. Plutonium is easy to store and simply isolated from the environment due to the poor penetration of the emitted radiation to them. However, there is an obvious risk to health when inhaled plutonium. Although it is very difficult to create an air dispersion of a heavy metal, like plutonium, some chemical compounds, including insoluble plutonium oxide particle size of less than 10 microns are potentially dangerous.