Past tense health tech: radium baths, radon mine soaks

Reader Mark Shead says, "This is a photograph of a sign in Nowata Oklahoma advertising 'Radium Water Baths' with an arrow pointing down under the building. I checked it out and years ago they had a great business of getting people to pay them to sit in toxic waste. They are closed (fortunately), but the sign seems to be holding up well."


Reader Doug Kirby says, "While it may be too late to enjoy a radium bath, one can still plan a vacation sitting in the radon health mines of Boulder and Basin, Montana. These defunct gold and uranium mines still emanate concentrations of radon gas, believed by some to treat arthritis, lupus, asthma, and other ailments. Visitors are recommended to sit in the mine two or three times a day, until they hit the maximum annual exposure level designated by the state (We didn't linger long enough to use up our personal exposure allotments)."


Reader comments: Tomas Bridle says:

There is a radon spa still up and operating at Jachmymov in the Czech Republic. The Jachymov Valley is also the source of the English word dollar: Link And, appropriately, the site of conferences on radioactive chemicals: Link.

Snip from one historical description:

"Modern therapeutical methods which are today used in Jachymov, such as baths in thermal water with a big radon content, greatly contribute towards improving the health state of people suffering from disorders of the motor tract (rheumatism), of the nervous system and disorders of the metabolism."

It's really a beautiful old town as you can see in the pictures, though some ugly mining and factories on the outskirts. I was there in the early 90's but I never tried the waters.


Aaron Engelhart says:

You can also see a few examples of radium-impregnated devices at Theodore Gray's Periodic Table Table – a wooden table modeled after the periodic table. Under each tile is an element sample (except for radioactive ones, which he keeps in a leaded glass box). Two of my favorite examples are a Revigorator, a ceramic carboy with a bit of radium in it that presumably made your water radioactive, and a radium impregnated glass bottle. You can see a bit more information at my blog entry.