Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe, however, it is seldom regarded as a therapeutic gas. Recent studies show that inhaled hydrogen gas (H(2)) has antioxidant and antiapoptotic activities that protect the brain against ischemia-reperfusion injury and stroke by selectively reducing hydroxyl and peroxynitrite radicals. It is also well known that more than a half of the ionizing radiation-induced cellular damage is caused by hydroxyl radicals. Studies have show that reducing hydroxyl radicals can significantly improve the protection of cells from radiation damage. In like manner, we hypothesize that hydrogen therapy may be an effective, specific and unique treatment for acute radiation syndrome.