From Chernobyl to Japan: Treating Radiation Sickness with Rock Dust


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By Guest Author

Joanna Campe, Executive Director of RTE

Joanna Campe

Joanna Campe is founder and Executive Director of Remineralize the Earth. Remineralize the Earth is a nonprofit organization assisting the worldwide movement of remineralizing soils with finely ground rock dust, sea minerals and other natural and sustainable means to increase the growth, health, and nutrient value of all plant life. Adding minerals and trace elements is vital to the creation of fertile soils, healthy crops and forests, and is a key strategy to stabilize the climate. She was invited by the U.S. State Department to be a speaker at the World International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008). She co-authored a chapter of the Green Thin Disc, New Technologies for a New  Future, given to all delegates at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen (COP15).


“Remineralization protects not only soil and plants from radioactivity, but humans, too. Supplying abundant minerals especially trace elements to the human body improves radiation tolerance, immune system integrity and radiation exposure recovery.”

David Yarrow, 2006


Many people today were not alive or do not remember the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. I remember it vividly. Just a few days after the disaster, I flew to Salzburg, Austria, to attend a banquet in honor of a very dear friend and mentor, the economic philosopher Leopold Kohr. He was receiving the keys to the city of Salzburg from the mayor and the pre-arranged banquet menu featured venison, mushrooms and berries— precisely the wild foods that had the greatest exposure to radioactive fallout. Years later I wrote a poem called The Chernobyl Feast which I read at a memorial service at Yale for Kohr.

Each day Austrians checked the newspaper to read the radiation levels of every food in order to make a choice about what to eat. The government recommended avoiding fresh foods from gardens and farms and instead eating processed foods that were packaged and canned before the disaster and were therefore not exposed to radiation. It was very eerie not to be able to eat the beautiful but invisibly and insidiously radioactive vegetables, fruits and berries in the gardens.

In the years leading up to Chernobyl, some dairy farmers in Austria were using remineralization as a part of their operations. They added rock dust to liquid manure as well as combining it with compost, thereby removing odors and greatly increasing soil biota. As a result, cows had twice the normal lifespan and produced much more milk. Amazingly enough, after Chernobyl, the cheeses that were remineralized (as well as biodynamic cheeses) measured no radioactivity whatsoever. Austrians would stand in long lines in order to buy these safe, remineralized products.

The year before Chernobyl, I co-produced a documentary in Europe on remineralization and visited some of the companies that were producing rock dust to be used specifically for agriculture and forestry, including the company of Robert Schindele. He discovered that the trees and plants on his property that were growing alongside gravel roads were stronger and healthier than the trees that were not. Schindele deduced that this was because cars driving on the gravel produced a cloud of rock dust that settled on the nearby vegetation and positively affected their growth. This led him to promote and publicize the rock dust that he produced from his quarry. It generated such success that he received constant media attention and people lined up in their cars on the road to his property as if they were taking a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

At the time that I interviewed Schindele, he spoke passionately about saving the dying forests with rock dust. Many news headlines in the late 1980s focused on the dying forests, forests declining in Europe and the US due to stress from acid rain and the accumulation of heavy metals in forest soils. Remineralization neutralizes the pH, creating a buffer so that heavy metals are not taken up by the plants and trees. Dr. Robert Bruck, Ph.D., a well-known forestry pathologist, observed remarkable recoveries from air pollution effects from application of mineral slurries and/or dusts in the Black Forest.

Schindele also began taking it internally and realized it was very good for people as well, a discovery which led him to begin selling finely ground rock dust as a health supplement. He originally called his product SuperBiomin and sold it to 6,000 pharmacies in Europe. It can currently be found under the label Schindele’s Minerals and continues to be readily available in Europe.

Schindele’s product was even used in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird explain in their 1989 book Secrets of the Soil that when “the University of Vienna found that Schindele’s product worked against radioactivity–a claim confirmed by a Soviet institute for atomic physics in the Ukraine–the Soviets sent a truck to pick up two thousand kilograms of his Gesteinsmehl. Analysis under a micropolariscope revealed an alteration in the molecular and atomic lattice, which had an effect on ionized radioactive particles taken into the body” (For a more detailed description of the scientific findings, see the appendix below). Ironically, in hindsight, a Japanese film team came to Europe to document the delivery and distribution of rock dust to radiation victims for the Japanese news.

So how is it that rock dust can lower levels of radiation in the body? It may seem too good to be true, but in fact it is not so far fetched. One of RTE’s team members, dairy microbiologist Kevin Bay from Hampshire College, describes in his own words some observations of David Yarrow (2006) below:

"To achieve maintenance of homeostasis, biological organisms use highly organized structures, intricately designed from a diverse set of molecular and atomic building blocks to carry out the many tasks involved in healthy functioning. Metal ions such as minerals and trace elements are used in biological systems for such important tasks as catalyzing biological reactions and stabilizing complex protein structures. This is why it is so important for any biological system to have access to a broad spectrum of minerals and trace elements. It is also one of the root causes of radiation sickness, as the destructive atomic forces of radioactive particles alter natural metal ions, damaging the delicate biological structures in which they play an integral part.

The intelligence of Nature tends to work to maintain health. Life on earth has evolved systems to selectively incorporate healthy minerals and trace elements into biological structures, and to repair the damage done by low levels of radiation, which is a common phenomenon even in Nature. Plants, for example, will selectively uptake healthy metals over radioactive particles if given the choice. However, under high levels of radioactive stress such as those encountered during a nuclear disaster, those systems become stressed and cannot cope with the damage, resulting in radiation sickness. Replenishing these systems with remineralized foods or a finely ground rock dust supplement is an important part of coping with this unprecedented radioactive stress."

Given the recent disaster in northeast Japan, it is timely and urgent to get this information out on behalf of the disaster victims as well as others as the radiation circulates around the globe and throughout the biosphere, adding to our already present toxic overload. A quick study could be created to monitor a group of subjects with high levels of radiation, giving about 1 tsp 3/day of an appropriate source of rock dust (or trial various sources) over a period of 10-14 days or more, compared with a control to see if it can be shown that radiation levels are lowered and bioremediated by rock dust supplementation.

Rock dust for bioremediation is a simple, natural and inexpensive means of alleviating the impact of radiation. As history shows through the Chernobyl disaster, remineralization makes a significant difference.

Please contact us at Remineralize the Earth if any readers have contacts in Japan that would be able to make use of this information. And please add your comments below to further this discussion and proposal.

It is tremendously important to remineralize our soils as well as ourselves. That is the ultimate mission of RTE. It is quite clear that remineralization bioremediates whether for soil, animals or humans, whether radiation or other toxic contaminants.



Reprinted with permission. The original blogpost with comments can be found on Remineralize the Earth.


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