Chapter 14. Radioactive quackery

Good for us

Doctors thought it would be good for us, considering its antibacterial effects. They found radon in famous hot springs, so they marketed radon as a wonder cure and no dosage was considered too large.


Companies sold crocks with radium ore baked into the crockery or lined with a porous layer of uranium ore to infuse drinking water with radon, but the AMA, the American Medical Association, complained; there wasn’t enough radon in each crock to do anyone any good; so they established a minimum level of radon per liter per 24-hours.


If high doses would kill you, many thought that low doses would stimulate the immune system or natural repair processes to provide a general protective effect. If studies were inconclusive and debate resulted only in disagreement, considering that sufferers were desperate, there could be an opportunity for a company to make a buck.

Brand names

Revigator— “The perpetual Health Spring in your Home” Radithor— “Perpetual Sunshine”— “A Cure for the Living Dead” Doramad Radioactive Toothpaste— “Radioaktive Zahncreme erzeúgt im Múnde natürliche Frische!” NICO Clean Tobacco Card, placed next to a pack of cigarettes lowers tar, nicotine, and toluene.

N rays

“One of the fascinating things about N-rays— They don’t follow the ordinary laws of science.” —Prosper-René Blondlot