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February 11, 1933


Author Affiliations

From the chemical laboratories of Bellevue Hospital, the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, and Washington Square College, New York University.

JAMA. 1933;100(6):400-402. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740060016005

Radioactive salts taken internally in the smallest traces are detrimental to health and fatal to life. This has been definitely proved by the work of Martland and his co-workers,1 St. George, Gettler and Muller,2 Hoffman,3 Castle and Drinker,4 Flinn5 and the U. S. Department of Labor,6 especially in connection with the series of radium watch dial workers in New Jersey.

The case to be described in this paper is interesting because it is the first one on record to be diagnosed correctly as radium poisoning, caused by drinking radium water, and in which the autopsy and analysis of the tissues corroborated the diagnosis.

History.  —E. M. B., a man, aged 52, weighing about 110 pounds (50 Kg.), markedly emaciated and anemic, was admitted to the hospital7 and treated for necrosis of the jaw. He had been drinking a water (said to be "Radithor")