"RADIO-ACTIVITY makes you feel so healthy"

25 junio 2008

Just after the discovery of radium, by Pierre and Marie Curie, this chemical element became so popular that soon it was put in some foods, creams and even water, exposing many people to radiation. Minute dilutions of radium were added to tea, health tonics, ice creams, lipsticks, bath salts, costumes that glowed in the dark, and so forth. Radium was once an additive in products like toothpaste, hair creams, and even food items due to its supposed curative powers. Such products soon fell out of vogue and were prohibited by authorities in many countries, after it was discovered they could have serious adverse health effects [1].

These are some of those crazy products from the 'Radium days':


Radithor was a well known patent medicine/snake oil that consisted of triple distilled water containing at a minimum 1 microcurie each of the Radium 226 and 228 isotopes. Radithor was manufactured from 1918 - 1928 by the Bailey Radium Laboratories. It was advertised as a "Perpetual Sunshine" and was said to cure stomach cancer, mental illness, and restore sexual vigor and vitality. An American industrialist, Eben Byers, drank a bottle each day for four years, at the end of which he died in excruciating pain from cancer of the jaw as his facial bones disintegrated. [1]

Face creams

In the early 1930s, this time in France, the industry launched a cosmetic brand Tho-Radia "for pharmaceutical products, beauty products and perfumes." The cream, with a base of thorium and radium, had great success in Paris with promising curative and beautifying properties. [1]

Tho-radia face cream radioactivity consisted of 0.5 g thorium chloride and 0.25 mg radium bromide per 100 g of cream. It was advertised as a creation "by Dr Alfred Curie", who was not a member of Pierre Curie’s family and who probably never existed.

Radioactive water

Ceramic jars which added radioactivity (radon) to drinking water became also very popular in those years. Revigator was probably the most popular device developed in the United States to add radon to drinking water. As the brochure stated, "Results overcome doubts." "The millions of tiny rays that are continuously given off by this ore penetrate the water and form this great HEALTH ELEMENT--RADIO-ACTIVITY. All the next day the family is provided with two gallons of real, healthful radioactive water . . . nature's way to health." [1]


Doramad radioactive toothpaste was produced during World War II by Auergesellschaft of Berlin. The back of the tube reads: "Its radioactive radiation increases the defenses of teeth and gums. The cells are loaded with new life energy, the destroying effect of bacteria is hindered. ... It gently polishes the dental enamel so it turns white and shiny". [1]

For the scrotum

Radiendocrinator was intended to be placed over the endocrine glands, "which have so masterful a control over life and bodily health." As one example of its use, men were advised "to put this instrument under the scrotum" ant to "wear it at night". [1]

Radium chocolate

Radium Chocolate manufactured by Burk & Braun, were sold at Germany from 1931 to 1936 and it was advertised for its rejuvenation power.


Produced by the Home Products Company of Denver, Colorado, these suppositories were guaranteed to contain real radium - and probably did. According to the brochure, "Weak Discouraged Men" would feel much better with this suppositories. All Home Product customer orders were shipped in a plain wrapper for confidentiality.[1]

Atomic Brand Names

On the other hand, the term "Radium" was incorporated into the brand names of any number of products even when these products didn't actually contain radium. These "Radium cigarrettes", for example, made no claim that they incorporated radioactive material. You can see some more fake radium products like this here.

References: Radioactive Quack Cures (Orau.org) y Surirradiés: une sixième victime (dissident-media.org).