Radium Dial Painters - Effects

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  • Radium workers showed many acute symptoms and signs of their exposure.
    • Radium jaw - Necrosis from lost teeth and bacterial infection
    • The air breathed by the Radium workers had enough Radon to be detected using an ionization chamber (radiation detector).
    • Enough activity in bones to expose films, generating pictures of their skeletons.


The young women applied radium to their buttons, their fingernails, their eyelids; at least one, a lively Italian girl, coated her teeth with it before a date, for a smile that glowed in the dark. Radium Girls, 1997



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