The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kate Moore writes a compelling and heart wrenching story about a group of women from New Jersey and Illinois whose job it was to use radium paint to paint watch dials so they would illuminate at night. Little did they know, that every time they would put their brush in their mouth to get the point just right to paint the dial precisely, they were killing themselves. They were told that the paint was perfectly safe and there was no way that the paint could be causing all of their medical problems. But the companies knew that the radium was dangerous. Scientists and others in the radium plant used gloves and had lead aprons on, but the dial painters were not given that luxury.
Slowly the effects of the paint began to show on their bodies. Women who were in the prime of their life were losing their teeth, their jaw bones were falling out, it was difficult for them to walk, and no one could explain it. They went to several doctors and no one could find the reason they were getting sick. The radium companies refused to admit that they were at fault. For years and years, they fought for justice. Justice for women who were dying in their 20s. This book made your heart ache for these women.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was quite a slow read for me. I wanted to know if justice was going to be served, but it took a while to get to that point. This is quite an interesting story and this was the first that I had ever heard of it.
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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