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THE RADIOACTIVITY OF NATURAL WATERS

JAMA. 1926;87(18):1480-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680180052016.
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Ever since the discovery of radium and its intense physiologic potencies, radioactivity has been a theme of great interest in medicine. The discussions are divided between considerations of therapeutic possibilities on the one hand and the dangers of the exposure to irradiation on the other. Dependable information has only slowly been acquired; even today, training and judgment are imperative in the clinical use of radium, so that experienced persons alone should become responsible for treatment with radium or its products. The relatively small dosage that evokes potent responses has been a significant feature. Early in the study of the subject, radioactivity was ascertained to be manifested almost universally in some measurable degree in natural waters. This fact was accepted by many to explain the alleged beneficial effects of waters that have attained some reputation through their use medicinally for bathing or drinking. This was particularly true at springs where the

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