[T]he firm had in its possession the results of the radioactivity tests of all the women at Radium Dial, taken back in 1928. The results that showed that, of the sixty-seven girls tested that day, thirty-four were suspiciously or positively radioactive. Thirty-four women: more than half the workforce.

The company had said in its press statement at the time; “Nothing even approaching symptoms ]of radium poisoning] has ever been found.” That declaration was not some miscalculation, caused by a misunderstanding of the data. The data was clear: most of the employees were radioactive – a telltale sign of radium poisoning. But though the women’s breath betrayed the truth, the company had deliberately and unashamedly lied.

The company still had the women’s names on its secret list of results, each numbered according to how radioactive she was.

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (2017)


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