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December 7, 1940

DANGERS INCIDENT TO THE INDISCRIMINATE USE OF RADIUM COMPOUNDS OR RADONIN THE TREATMENT OF CUTANEOUS DISEASES

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Skin and Cancer Unit, New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital, Columbia University.

JAMA. 1940;115(23):1996-1998. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.72810490008011
Abstract

Radium from abroad has found anxious and eager buyers in this country during the past decade. Nine tenths of the radium mined each year finds a use in medicine.1 The United States is probably the largest consumer of radium and radon for medical purposes, and the decreased cost resulting from a greater supply has made them available for wider distribution.

Formerly American dermatologists received but little instruction in the physical and chemical properties and the uses of radium. With each successive year there has been increased knowledge of the clinical applications of radium and radon. The modern dermatologist utilizes radioactive elements more efficiently than his predecessors and with discriminating judgment.

Notwithstanding increased knowledge, it is regrettable that some physicians, including dermatologists, use radium or radon for the treatment of various dermatoses without having had adequate training of either the disease under treatment or the agent. Some have the fallacious

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