(Harrowing Historical Nonfiction Bestseller About a Courageous Fight for Justice)
Wow! 5+++ stars! Highly recommend!
This is a harrowing true story about young women, many of them immigrants, who worked in plants in Newark/Orange, NJ and Ottawa, Canada painting watch and clock dials with radium so that the numbers would be luminous. The story takes place in the 1920s.
At the time, radium was said to be very safe. The young women were instructed to insert the paint brushes into their mouths so that the paint brush line would be very thin. “Lip, dip, and paint” was the process they were taught as they dipped their paint brushes into radium paint.
The health issues and excruciating deaths that occurred with many of the women are told in horrific detail. Unfortunately, the majority of dentists, doctors, and supervisors that they went to for advice and evaluation dismissed them.
The existing workers compensation laws during that time were narrowly constrained; radium poisoning claims did not meet the criteria and the statue of limitations was too short.
Yet many of these women continued to fight for their lives and for social and economic justice. Fortunately, there were some doctors, dentists, and attorneys who championed their cause.
This is a riveting story of young women with workplace injuries championing to have their employer provide medical and financial assistance and to prevent other employees from radium poisoning.