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Scientific Research

Excerpt from "Radiation and Health: An Overview of Radon Therapy in the United States and Europe," Barbra E. Erickson, PhD, author, California State University-Fullerton

"The therapeutic use of radon involves the intake of radon gas either through inhalation, or by transcutaneous resportion of radon dissolved in water. Most of the radon is subsequently discharged through exhalation, but a small amount remains in the body as radioactive radon progeny, which are physiologically active through their continued decay.

Radon therapy in Europe exists in a completely different cultural context [from that in the United States]. The concerns of European environmental agencies about the hazards of indoor radon contaminations are similar to those in the United States; however this has not seemed to preclude the medical use of radon. In part, this is because European countries tend to incorporate within their biomedical health care systems many of the genres of treatment categorized as "alternative" in the United States.

Compared to the rustic mine tunnels in Montana, radon therapy in Europe is much more upscale, a reflection of its accepted status as science-based, and as simple one of a range of possible treatment modalities. Radon therapy facilities in Europe also have the advantage of being generally covered by health insurance."

Radiation, Science and Health 

“Radiation and Health: An overview of Radon Therapy in the U.S. and Europe” 

International Dose-Response Society
Hormesis is a dose-response phenomenon characterized by low-dose stimulation and high-dose inhibition. Since dose-responses are often believed to be linear from low-dose to high, the non-linear nature of hormesis and its application in all the scientific fields is of rapidly growing interest among scientists and regulators alike.

Effects of Radon on the Immune System
by J. Soto
Department of Medical Physicis, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cantabria (Spain) SUMMARY: Radon can exert a beneficial effect on the immune system when it generates low radiation doses in man. This paper examines these effects and also their mechanisms. It also deals with the effects on the immune system of patients treated in spas where radon is the main agent.

One Century of Radon Therapy
by Prof. Klaus Becker, Berlin Germany
Substantial experiences as reflected in more than 1,000 papers, mostly peer-reviewed scientific journals, radon therapy by inhalation or bathes has been established as an evidence-based treatment.

Also known as "cave" therapy - recognized throughout the world. Specific microclimates within underground excavations are prescribed for various disorders.

Gasteiner Heilstollen - Bad Gastein, Austria 

Furstenzeche Bergwerk - Lam, Germany

Radium Palace - Jachymov, Czech Republic.

The Radium Palace hospital and sanitorium was established in 1912 by Marie Sklodowska Curie. Marie Curie (1867-1934) was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize - granted for her work in discovering polonium and then radium in 1898 while seeking the cause of radioactivity of pitchblend from Joachimsthal, Bohemia.

Behounek's Sanatorium (est'd 1977) - Jachymov, Czech Republic 

Curie Sanatorium (est'd 1992) - Jachymov, Czech Republic 

Kurmittelhaus Sibyllenbad - Neualbenreuth, Germany 

Kurbad Schlema - Schlema, Germany 

Wieliczka Salt Mine - Wieliczka, Poland

Republican Speleotherapeutical Hospital - Armenia
4,000 square meters of corridors, 235 meters below the surface for asthma and other respiratory disorders 

Guarapari, Brazil - Atlantic coasts of Brazil are covered with sand that originated from nearby naturally radioactive monazite and zirconite hillsides.

Long-term efficacy of radon spa therapy in rheumatoid arthritis - a randomized, sham-controlled study and follow-up
A. Franke, L. Reiner, H.G. Pratzel, T. Franke and K.L. Resch
Balneology and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute (FBK), Bad Elster, In-Patient rehabilitation hospital (Dr. Ebel Fachlinik) Bad Brambach and Institute of Medical Balneology and Climatology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
ABSTRACT: Marked short-term improvements were noted in two groups participating in this study of therapeutic baths. The radon bath group had long lasting effects, while the mineral baths were short term....

Radiation and Health: An Overview of Radon Therapy in the United States and Europe
by Barbra E. Erickson, Ph.D
California State University, Fullerton CA
Presentation at the Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference, Honolulu HI, March 2006
As consumers, people regularly choose their own solutions for health promotion and maintenance, solutions which may or may not be sanctioned by mainstream medicine. Radon therapy exemplifies a non-sanctioned treatment eagerly sought by certain patients, but scorned or dismissed by many physicians. In this paper, the author discusses the decision-making process involved in using radon and compare the Montana health mine facilities with selected radon mines and spas in Europe...

The Benefits of Radiation at Low Doses
by Ronald E.J. Mitchel, Ph.D
Current research is focused on the effects of low doses on birth defects in mice and on the effects of low doses on the risk of spontaneous cancer in cancer prone mice. The "Linear No Threshold" (LNT) hypothesis, used in all radiation protection practices, assumes that all doses, no matter how low, increase the risk of cancer. In vitro cell based experiments show adaptive processes in response to low doses and dose rates of low LET radiation, and do not support the LNT hypothesis...

Research Shows Beneficial Effects of Low Doses of Radiation
by Jerry Cuttler
Canadian Nuclear Society Newsletter, Spring 2003, Issue 2
Hormesis is an adaptive response of living organisms to low levels of chemical, biological or radiological stress or damage - a modest overcompensation to a disruption - resulting in improved fitness. Observations of this reproducible phenomena (low-dose stimulation and high-dose inhibition) have been widely reported in the scientific biomedical literature since the 1880's, and form the basis for all immunology treatment....

Summary: The Therapeutic Application of Low Dose Radiation (Hormetic Effects)
by Dr. Sadao Hattori, ScD
Survival depends on the adaptive response mechanisms. The hormetic response to low dose radiation includes pain relief, prevention of and recovery from the disease process, by improvement of the immune response...

Commentary: Toxicology rethinks its central belief
Hormesis demands a reappraisal of the way risks are assessed.
by Edward J. Calabrese and Linda A. Baldwin, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA
NATURE Magazine, February 2003, Vol. 421, pgs 691-692
The hormetic dose response represents a paradigm shift in the concept of the dose response throughout biological science. It is widespread and outperforms other dose-response models. The implications of the hormetic perspective challenge the belief and use of low-dose linearity in estimating cancer risks, and emphasizes that there are thresholds for carcinogens...

Risk in perspective: Radiation, reactor accidents, and radioactive waste
An interview with Bernard Cohen, by Jay Lehr
Dr. Bernard Cohen, Professor Emeritus University of Pittsburgh, is internationally known for his work in radiation, health, and physics. He explains how Americans developed their fear of things nuclear and puts perceived risks in perspective....

Radiobiology Deceptions Reject Health
by T.D. Luckey, Ph.D
Prof Emeritus, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE8),
April 2-6, 2000, Baltimore MD
Abstract: Radiolobiology data shows that biological functions are stimulated at low doses of ionizing radiation, while high doses result in detrimental effects. The results of improved health, and successful treatment of medical conditions, by low to moderate radiation doses, as shown in numerous studies, in both animal experiments and human epidemiological studies....
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