Plutonium isotopes are alpha emmitters
Twice as dense as lead, plutonium has a silver-like aspect in the metallic state,. The plutonium isotopes are alpha emitters except for plutonium-241. Alpha emitters are not dangerous unless they are inhaled or ingested. The dead layer of skin is enough to stop them. The penetrating gamma rays that often accompany radioactive decays are missing or have remarkably low energy in the case of plutonium. These factors explain why this technician can handle this piece of plutonium with simple gloves.