There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of harmful chemicals in everyday products like home appliances, carpets, medical equipment, electronics, and maybe even toys.
Either the hazardous substances are used in the production line and present as a residue in the final product, or they are, in fact, the primary materials for the manufacturing process.
Synthetic chemicals are in nearly every product people touch, use, and consume daily. Some are potentially dangerous and can cause serious long-term health effects.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 40,000 chemicals are used in consumer products in the U.S., of which only less than 1% have been tested for safety.
In the case of (now defunct) United States Radium Corporation and two other companies, which manufactured radium-based luminous dial for wristwatches, the substance used in the product manufacturing process killed workers in the facility unsafe work condition and practices.
The Radium Girls’ story eventually triggered regulations governing labor safety standards in the U.S.
10 Miracle Substance
At the onset of World War I in the early 1920s, the hot new gadget was a wristwatch with a glow-in-the-dark dial.
Across the United States, several factories were manufacturing the dials by painting the numbers and hands with material containing a radioactive element known as radium.
At that time, radium had been used in the treatment of cancer. Many believed it was a wonder substance with miraculous healing properties. It was used in a variety of products, from cosmetics to toothpaste.
9 Expensive Material
Radium was all the craze back then. The material cost the equivalent of around $2 million of today’s money for every gram. Female workers in the dial companies believed they were getting health benefits from direct exposure to radium.
French physicists Marie and Pierre Currie discovered radium in 1898, and its properties were not well known even twenty years later.
Despite the unknown, some salespeople promised that it could increase sex drive and extend lives. Doctors also used it in the treatment of colds.