Sitting in radioactive dirt was a thing in the 1950s


I live in Montana. We had folks going into old uranium mines for their health in the day. Was quite a cottage industry for a few years. I suppose all the frequent users died of cancer and the trend rather faded. Now we have a former candidate for governor who drank so much colloidal silver, he turned blue permanently.

Stoopid lingers, much the half life of radioactive elements.

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My only hope is that it was all a scam and that it was just regular old dirt they were sitting in…


This is particularly bizarre given that it was 1955. Yes, radiation as healthful was big in the early 20th century, but by 1955, the radiation to cancer link was well established.


Reminds me of people today who take gingko biloba. Well, I guess that’s at least apparently harmless. Echinacea, perhaps? Sadly, quackery still grabs the gullibles.

Echinacea may also cause anxiety and nervousness, bad taste, bronchitis, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry throat, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, heartburn, joint pain, kidney failure, mild drowsiness, mild nausea, mouth irritation, numb tongue, pemphigus vulgaris (autoimmune disease causing blistering, sore skin), sleep problems, sperm motility, stomach pain, upset stomach, and vomiting.

Yeah, you’d think…yet shoe store fluoroscopes were a big thing right up through the '60s.

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I remember reading about people who would go in to mines to get exposure to radon and radium. There are a lot of other examples - the wikipedia page for radiation quackery needs some filling-out.

Gingko contains a rather effective anticoagulant, so much so that doctors regularly quiz patients about their use of the supplement prior to starting anticoagulant therapy such as coumadin etc… Not to mention the rather extensive list of potential interactions with other medications.

My approach to the supplement market is rather cynical: While many supplements are biologically active, the efficacy/safety hasn’t been fully evaluated by research in most cases, so user beware. Also, the very cynical portion of me thinks “The pharmaceutical industry isn’t going to ignore a potential source of profit. If X plant extract is more effective or safe than the extant pharmaceuticals, they’re going to patent it and market it (and mark up the price). And it’s not like these compounds are unknown.”. Ha! Maybe this is the one place that I have faith in raw unchecked capitalistic greed.


Sitting in radioactive dirt was a thing in the 1950s

Was? Was?

I loath scribd, so it is with a heavy heart that I link to them; but “The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Fell Off” is probably the best WSJ headline in human history.


"The tingle means it’s working!"

Holy shit! Wikipedia points to the BBC for this tidbit:

You guys do crazy really well.

PS: This is the best headline I’ve read in a while.


I hate that echinacea is BS. It was working so well as a placebo!!

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This happened up until 1957:

Without saying how radioactive its a bit meaningless. Pretty much everything is radioactive to some level.

The same with smoking cigarettes, but that didn’t die out until the late 70’s, early 80’s.

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