The lethal dose (LD50) for acute radiation exposure is generally about 4.5 Sv. (Sv = Sievert which is a unit of dose equivalent). The committed effective dose equivalent 210Po is 0.51 µSv/Bq if ingested, and 2.5 µSv/Bq if inhaled. Since 210Po has an activity of 166 TBq per gram (1 gram produces 166×1012 decays per second), a fatal 4-Sv dose can be caused by ingesting 8.8 MBq (238 microcurie), about 50 nanograms (ng), or inhaling 1.8 MBq (48 microcurie), about 10 ng.
Notably, the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 was announced as due to 210Po poisoning. Generally, 210Po is most lethal when it is ingested. Litvinenko was probably the first person ever to die of the acute α-radiation effects of 210Po , although Irene Joliot-Curie was actually the first person ever to die from the radiation effects of polonium (due to a single intake) in the late 1950s. It is reasonable to assume that many people have died as a result of lung cancer caused by the alpha emission of polonium present in their lungs, either as a radon daughter or from tobacco smoke.