The article published Monday in The Lancet, the leading British journal, gives more detail on a discovery announced last year, The Guardian reported. The scientists said they examined 38 items that were used by Arafat at the time the Palestinian Authority president died in 2003 and compared them to a group of 37 items that had been in storage.
Arafat fell sick in 2004 while the presidential palace in Ramallah was under siege by the Israeli military. He died in a Paris hospital.
Rumors that he had been poisoned by Israeli agents began almost immediately among Palestinians. His body was exhumed last year but no results of toxicology tests have been reported.
Polonium, an unstable and highly radioactive element, was discovered in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie and named after her native Poland.
In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent living in London, died from polonium poisoning.
In their note in the Lancet, Swiss toxicologists said some of Arafat's symptoms were consistent with polonium poisoning.
"Although the absence of myelosuppression (bone marrow deficiency) and hair loss does not favor acute radiation syndrome, symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, and anorexia, followed by hepatic and renal failures, might suggest radioactive poisoning," they said.
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