A Light That Never Stops Shining – The Dark Story of The Radium Girls

“My beautiful Radium,” Marie Curie called the element that glowed softly and emitted warmth. But that light, that warmth, was not, as it was advertised, energy that would restore health but rather radiation that had the ability to annihilate cells that came into contact with it. During WWI, many young women took jobs in factories to keep their families afloat while the men were away at war. One such job, that was considered quite glamorous was a dial painter. They used radium laced paint to color the numbers and hands of dials for military equipment. These young women were well paid and considered artists. But the glamour wouldn’t last long – as time wore on, one by one these young women fell ill and eventually died. Those who survived banded together and fought the companies that so callously allowed them to be poisoned all the while offering their male counterparts protection from the deadly chemical. In this episode, Jen introduces you to the women who bravely fought for all of us and today, OSHA exists because of their selfless efforts.

Sources

CNN
Spectator
Wired
Mental Floss

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