Radium Girls

Topics: United States Radium Corporation, Radium Girls, Radium jaw Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Isn’t it scary to think that someone could keep a huge secret from you, a secret so big that it could potentially kill you and hundreds of other people? This happened in the 1920’s and changed many people’s lives forever. Today, I’m going to share with you something that had a big effect not only as u as a country but us as the Illinois Valley. My topic is the Radium Girls of Ottawa. This is a topic that I know much about; I did my 8th grade history fair project on this, read a few books about it, and even interviewed two of the radium girls. My three main points will be what the radium dial company was, who the living dead girls were, and the after effects of this tragedy. My first point is the Radium Dial company, according to the book Deadly Glow, in 1922 the radium dial company moved from Peru Il, to Ottawa and hired hundreds of girls to paint the dials of WWI and WWII clock faces. The paint used was called luna that contained radium to make the watch glow in the dark. To get the dials perfect the girls were told to wet the tip of the brush with their lips. Their boss failed to mention that radium can cause anything from cancer anemia, bone fractures and necrosis of the jaw, known as radium jaw. Their boss knew about the dangers but told them it would only make their cheeks rosy. Unaware of the dangers the girls would paint their teeth, nails, skin, and hair and turn off the lights so they could glow. This brings me to my second main point, who were the society of the living dead? According to the book Radium Girls, after a year the girls started to complain about jaw pains and their teeth started to fall out. They demanded to be seen by doctors, only to be lied to about not having radium in them and they were perfectly healthy. The doctors who saw them knew they had radium in them, but didn’t tell them. This started their group “the society of the living dead” the girls were filing for unsafe working conditions. Catherine Donohue was the leader and she was...
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