In 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discovered Radium, the 88th element on the periodic table. Quacks of various sorts soon attributed all sort of magical benefits to the new radioactive, element. Radium started showing up in toothpaste, hair creams and food products, with manufacturers claiming it could cure all manner of ills. Radium also had the unusual property of glowing in the dark, and by the early 1900’s radium was used for industrial applications like watch faces. Far from curing illness, we now know that radium in fact causes radiation poisoning, as the young women painting watch faces at the United States Radium Corporation in New Jersey and the Radiant Dial company in Illinois eventually found out, to their detriment. Kate Moore’s new book “Radium Girls” covers the tragic and influential story of these women. Kate Moore joined Monday Buzz host Brian Standing on October 8, 2018.
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