K počátkům radonových lázní v Jáchymově v Čechách 1 Část I. Organizace prvých radonových lázní (impulsy a vazby)
THE BEGINNING OF THE RADON SPA, JOACHIMSTHAL, BOHEMIA. PART I. ITS ORGANIZATION: IMPULSES AND CONNECTIONS
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The beginning of the radon spa in Joachimsthal (Jachymov), Bohemia, is closely connected with research on the radioactivity of spa waters in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Two Austrian physicists, Heinrich Mache and Stefan Meyer, measured radioactivity in samples of water taken in Joachimsthal in autumn 1904. Here, from the mid-nineteenth century, pitchblende (Uraninite) was mined and processed. Using a sample taken from a depth of 375 metres, Mache and Meyer measured the then highest-known concentration of radon in natural waters (185 Mache units of M. u.). Josef Step, the director of the mine, continued the measurement of the radioactivity of mine waters in Joachimsthal. He soon discovered even more active and richer springs. Later named after him, they became the source of naturally radioactive water for the first private radon spa, established by Leopold Gottlieb, a district doctor, in 1906. The impulse had been provided by the encouraging results of experiments with the medical application of radon baths, which Professor Edmund von Neusser began at Vienna University. Neusser prepared radon baths using radioactive waste material resulting from the manufacture of paint made from Joachimsthal uranium ore. Pierre and Marie Curie were the first to draw attention to these radioactive materials in their paper published in 1898. With the processing of the radioactive waste eventually obtained from Joachimsthal, they produced the first concentrated radium preparations. The possibilities of using the naturally radioactive Joachimsthal waters to establish the state-owned spa in Joachimsthal were discussed in 1907 in the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Vienna. The development of the state spa institute for radium-therapy (k. k. Kuranstalt für Radiumtherapie) at Joachimsthal and the refinement of the medical indications and methods of the spa are considered in detail in the second part of the article.
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