The Radium Girls

Introduction

•      This is the story of Industrial Pollution.

•      Lack of Women’s Rights.

•      Lack of Union activities.

•      Special Privilege for some.

•      Lack of media attention.

Grace Fryer and the other Radium Girls

•       Fryer started to work in the factory in the spring of 1917.

•       70 women worked alongside Fryer.

•       The women believed that they were working in a safe environment.

•       The owners of the factory knew that the women were working in a harmful environment.

The Radium Effects

•      Fryer left the factory in 1920.

•      Two years later, Fryer’s teeth started to fall out and she developed an abscess on her jaw.

•      X-Rays showed the development of a serious bone decay in her mouth and her back.

•      In July 1925, a doctor suggested to Fryer that her job at the Radium Factory is the cause of her health problems.

•      After being examined by a specialist at Columbia University, she discovered that this was part of a cover-up by the U.S Radium Corporation.

 

Walter Lippmann and the New York Press

•      Editor of New York World.

•      The New York World a liberal paper founded by Pulitzer.

•      With Lippmann’s editorials, the interest of the Radium Girls grew.

•      Soon there was a trial.

The Public Bought Radioactive Stuff to Make You Feel Good

The Man Who Brought Justice for the Radium Girls

•      Raymond Berry, a attorney from Newark, filed a suit against the Radium Factory in behalf of Grace Fryer.

•      Four other women joined the suit after reporting medical problems.

•      A lawsuit was filed on May 18, 1927.

•      Each woman asked to be compensated $250,000 for their medical expenses and for their pain.

•      The Radium Factory settled out of court giving each woman $10,000 and a $600 per year annuity.

Conclusions

•      Grace Fryer and the rest of Radium Girls died in the 1920’s and 1930’s

•      Many believed that they sealed their fate when they dipped their paintbrushes into the radium paint and put the bristles into their mouths.