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Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum  |   December 2012
Radium and Thorium Applications for the General Public: Unexpected Consequences of the Discovery from Pierre and Marie Curie
Author Notes
  • President of Club d’Histoire de l’Anesthésie et de la Réanimation (French Association for the History of Anesthesiology and Critical Care), France , and Musée Viars, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.
Article Information
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum
Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum   |   December 2012
Radium and Thorium Applications for the General Public: Unexpected Consequences of the Discovery from Pierre and Marie Curie
Anesthesiology 12 2012, Vol.117, 1202. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31827ce176
Anesthesiology 12 2012, Vol.117, 1202. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e31827ce176
After the discoveries of ionizing radiation (by von Röntgen and Becquerel) and radium and thorium by Pierre and Marie Curie in France, there was real enthusiasm for these radioactive elements and the general public alike. Radium was considered beneficial at low dose. Many applications were proposed for healthy and hygienic purposes: radium and thorium were introduced in face cream against wrinkles (were faces fluorescent in the night?), in lipstick (for hot lips?), in drugs for bronchitis. Manufacturers even produced a domestic fountain providing radioactive water to drink and a radium-containing coffeepot with great commercial success.
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