Study the effects of inhalation of Tskaltubo mineral-radon waters on experimental animals


mineral-radon waters

How to Cite

Gogebashvili M, Grebenchuk H, Tulashvili E, Ivanishvili N, Kalmakhelidze S, Shubitidze M. Study the effects of inhalation of Tskaltubo mineral-radon waters on experimental animals. Azerbaijan Journal of Physiology. 2023;38(2). doi:10.59883/ajp.66


Radon balneotherapy is a traditional approach involving the use of radon sources for balneological procedures. Despite numerous studies on the impact of radon on the body, the safety of using radon for medical purposes remains uncertain. While there exists a clearly defined upper limit of the dose rate to achieve a radioadaptive response, the lower limit for this hormetic effect is still inconclusive. Current beliefs suggest that the minimum effective therapeutic radon concentrations are as follows: 200 Bq/l for water baths and 700 Bq/l for inhalation of radon and its products. However, in laboratory rat studies, hormetic responses were observed at significantly lower doses of radon exposure (37 Bq/m 3 ). To address this issue, we conducted experiments on laboratory rats, exposing them to a continuously dosed radon exposure not exceeding 50 Bq/m3. The level of inhalation-assimilated radon over 3 months was determined by measuring the presence of one of its decay products, lead-210, in flat bones. This radioisotope was analyzed using a Canberra gamma spectrometer equipped with a highly sensitive germanium detector. The results obtained indicated that at such a level of radon exposure, the hormetic response could not be attributed to radiation-induced effects. Consequently, the observed hormetic effect on various physiological parameters in laboratory rats is not a result of radon exposure. This situation arises because, in the region of low doses, aside from the linear dose-response, other forms of dose dependence are equally probable. Therefore, it becomes challenging to isolate the radiation-induced effect due to the interference of non-radiation factors. One plausible explanation for the therapeutic effect observed during inhalation could be the influence of ionic and gaseous constituents present in mineral water and moist heat. The inhaled sprayed water affects the reflexogenic areas of the respiratory tract, transmitting impulses to the central nervous system, which then impacts the body. In this case, the contribution of radiation exposure is minimal, making it inappropriate to classify this effect as radio-hormesis.
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