FRAUDULENT RADIOACTIVE MINERAL WATER

FRAUDULENT RADIOACTIVE MINERAL WATER

EDITORIAL

It looks as though the concerns which are endeavoring to induce the public to adopt for drinking purposes certain mineral water, which they claim possess radioactivity, will be thwarted in their fraudulent purpose. The United States Government through its Department of Chemistry has been delving into the merits of these waters and has ascertained enough facts to warrant the issuing of a warning against their use. The investigation is not ended, and before it is doubtless prosecutions will be started against the concerns for misbranding their products. The waters, in some cases, are taken from springs the waters of which as they come from the ground do possess certain radioactive properties, but whatever radioactivity they possess at the spring is due almost entirely to radium emanation rather than to the presence in the water of any substance possessing radioactivity. These emanations in the form of gas quickly disappear from the water, and after it has been bottled for a brief time the water will possess no radioactivity whatever. If the radio activity of a water in a spring is one hundred, in four days later it will be only fifty, and twelve days after bottling it will be ten. One month subsequently the water will be practically nothing compared with the original radioactivity at the spring. As far as the Government specialists have been able to ascertain, no bottled water retains its radioactivity for any length of time. Admission to this country of foreign waters labeled so as to mislead the public regarding their real or curative properties has been refused, and consumers are warned against the deception. Many frauds have been perpetrated by dealers in mineral waters, afflicted persons with elastic imaginations having been induced to write testimonials of the efficacious properties, which in turn have been used as excellent revenue-earners.

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