They were a group of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning. They got radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint in a factory in Orange, New Jersey around 1917. They would lick their paintbrushes to sharpen them or even paint their fingernails with the toxic paint.
The Radium Girls were a group of women who brought a suit against their employer, the United States Radium Corporation, in the 1920s. The women charged that dangerous working conditions in the Corporation’s New Jersey factory had exposed them to harmful radiation, leading to sickness. The girls ultimately won their suit, laying the groundwork for future individual suits about working conditions, and capturing the attention of the American public.
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