Radium Medicine Is Condemned (Jan, 1933)

Radium Medicine Is Condemned

AN AUTHORITATIVE statement of the probable uselessness and even more probable dangers of drinking radioactive waters or taking other medicines supposed to contain radium has been issued by the American Medical Association. Evidence of helpfulness of water is not available.

  1. Daniel Rutter says: July 26, 20102:35 am

    See also “The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off”, the story of the end of one Eben McBurney Byers’ life:

    Most “radium” patent medicines were, like most of the “electric” cure-alls that preceded them, totally fraudulent or at least largely inert, and thus just placebos.

    Water treated with “radium ore”, however, was unfortunately very often exactly what it was advertised to be. Radioactive-jug devices like the “Revigator” can still be quite hazardously “hot” today!

    The thing that blows my mind is that you can STILL buy radioactive “curatives”, if you’re dumb enough:

  2. TomB says: July 26, 20107:47 am

    The Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge used to have a display of pots that held a block of radium at the bottom. You filled it with water and drank a glass from it every day.

  3. jayessell says: July 26, 201011:08 am

    Popular Science did an article a year earlier:

    July 1932 Popular Science Page 9:


    PS: I’d hardly call it a ‘life-giving element. It cures by KILLING cancer cells.

  4. Charlie says: July 26, 20101:49 pm

    When I lived in Minneapolis my apartment building was right across the river from The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. They had radium water dispensers (http://www.museumofquac…) and red fiestaware (which contains uranium oxide). It was a great museum. I was sad to see that the founder of the museum recently died.

  5. Tim says: August 2, 20102:09 pm

    When I was about 3 years old (1955), I had a small “blood tumor” on the tip of my nose. Doctors applied radium to my nose about a dozen times. I suppose the idea was to shrink the tumor. The treatments left an endentation on my nose from the tip to the middle of my eyes. Recently, 2007, I had a large basel cell carcenoma cancer. The removed about half of my nose to get to all the cancer. The doctors said it was from my experience with the radium. It also, about the same time, caused me to not make saliva and I have no gag reflex.
    Let’s hear it for medical research on children in the U.S.

  6. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: August 6, 20102:25 pm

    They not only drank it, but bathed in it too.

    This will give you a rough idea of how much of a radiation dose you’d get by bathing in one of the places. It’s not directly proportional as different sources of radiation have different effects.


  7. Daniel says: February 6, 20113:13 pm

    But look who is critical of Radioactive Patent Medicine… The American Medical Association!!

    Why, everybody knows that the AMA is eeeee-vul! They are not to be trusted! Not them or the FDA! In fact, they are all in cahoots to KEEP US ALL SICK and dependent upon Conventional Western Medicine!

    Besides, the AMA and FDA rules demand scientific evidence of efficacy! How ridiculous is that? Scientists don’t know everything, and besides testing is very expensive. I invented a miraculous cure in my garage for fibromyalgia and electrosensitivity, but I can’t afford to do the testing the way the FDA demands? IT’s NOT FAIR!! This is restraint of trade!

    I know this works- I gave my cure to a whole bunch of friends and family, and they all swear it works! They ALL felt better after I gave it to them, after years and years of being told by their “conventional” doctors that it was all in their heads.

    If you don’t believe me, I can email you a dozen or so testimonials

    Anyway, I don’t trust the medical establishment and neither should you. If you feel better after drinking some Radithor, you should just go on and do it.


  8. Firebrand38 says: February 6, 20113:48 pm

    Daniel: Wow, unless you’re joking that last post is proof you can be retarded and still use a computer.
    That line, If you feel better after drinking some Radithor, you should just go on and do it. is either an unfunny joke or one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read.

  9. Daniel says: February 6, 20114:25 pm

    @Firebrand- Well, considering that Radithor hasn’t been offered for sale in over 80 years, did you really think I was being serious?

    I was lampooning every “alternative” health cliche I could think of. I guess the fact that you even took a second to consider that I could be serious shows that the alternativistas have injected their fashionable nonsense into the public square to a far greater extent than I dared to think was possible.

    Besides, I thought for sure that my spelling of eeeee-vul would be a dead giveaway that I was being quite sarcastic.

    At the end of the day, I can’t expect everyone to get in line with my sense of humor. I post these things strictly for my own entertainment.

    Have a swell day!

  10. Firebrand38 says: February 6, 20116:07 pm

    Daniel: Fair enough. But you should see some of the identical yet sincere posts that have been made here over the years, you really should.

  11. Don says: February 6, 20118:02 pm

    @Daniel: You can get your “cure” on the shelves; just call it “homeopathic” and it gets an automatic free pass. Hey, it worked for Zicam! (Until they got caught — but it still didn’t stop them.)

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