Radioactive water features a significant presence of some natural elements with proven radioactive properties, including radon, radium, actinium, thorium and uranium in a content exceeding 50/80 Mache units.
Potentially hazardous to human health at high concentrations, the radioactive elements present in the water turn into a resource for the organism in the amount falling into a particular water category and have been used in numerous thermal facilities since the Seventies.
The main therapeutic resource of radioactive water results from the presence of radon, a gaseous substance produced by the emission of an alpha particle from an atom of radium. Radon is easily absorbed in human body through the mucous membranes of the skin, as well as through the respiratory and digestive system, through which it is then easily eliminated.
Radon is not hazardous to the body, because its radioactivity decays in less than 4 days; therefore radioactive water should be taken at the appropriate centres located in proximity of the source, thus preserving its properties.
Depending on the level of radioactivity, radioactive water can be divided into the following categories:
- light radioactive water with a radioactivity level not exceeding 30 nC/l
- intermediate radioactive water features a radioactivity level between 30 and 150 nC/l
- strong radioactive water has a radioactivity level greater than 150 nC/l
At biological level, radioactive water exerts different effects on the organism, based on the types of minerals that it contains, according to a pattern which matches diuretic properties with radioactive oligomineral water and anti-inflammatory properties with salso-bromo-iodic water. The difference with respect to its category is determined by the energy released by the radioactive water, which increases the properties of the water of reference through ionization.
As for the nervous system, the radioactivity of the water has analgesic and calming effects which make it particularly suitable for neurological therapies exploiting the activity of cholinesterase, a family of enzymes attesting to the liver function and the transmission of nerve impulses, leading to a faster inactivation of acetylcholine, a molecule which acts as a chemical mediator in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Some experiments have shown that patients suffering from allergic asthma treated with radioactive water therapies are less subject to the risk of death from anaphylactic shock with respect to patients treated with non-radioactive water.
It has been scientifically demonstrated that radioactive water exerts positive effects on the female genital system. In particular, treatments based on radioactive waters lead to an increase in the estrogenic activity through the pituitary and diencephalic stimulation, improving the menstrual cycle regularity and the vaginal environment in case of chronic or dystrophic inflammations.
Radioactive water is mostly used for hydrotherapy, mud therapy, irrigations, inhalations and hydro-massages.