Steer Clear of This Mob Mentality

|August 29, 2023

The Radium Girls were hired by the U.S. Radium Corporation in 1914 to paint instrument dials with radium.

Discovered by Marie Curie in 1898, radium quickly became the darling of the world.

It seemed to defy the laws of physics by giving off energy without depletion. The silvery white metal found its way into countless products within a decade. Foods, cosmetics, medical prescriptions – the world was infatuated with this wonder product.

Tea with radium in it, marketed as “liquid sunshine,” promised curative wonders.

Dials that could glow in the dark offered pilots and military personnel the ability to see instruments and watches at night.

Painting the dials’ tiny components required small hands and a meticulous touch. The Radium Girls, some as young as 14, performed this painstaking work. They had to lick the paintbrushes between each stroke to keep them in shape.

The girls painted their teeth with radium to attract boys in dark dance halls. In less than a decade, however, they began experiencing excruciating, debilitating health issues. They developed tumors. Their teeth fell out. One girl’s jaw fell out of her mouth. Many died.

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