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The radio girls, their history
This story is terrible history, happened in the first World War.
They were difficult times and that factory offered the triple that any other job.
The girls had to paint the numbers of the sphere of the clock, with a fluorescent paint so that the numbers shine in the dark, so far everything is fine, the bad thing is that this painting contained radio, discovered by Marie Curie 20 years before and whose manipulation and exposure to him, he produced death.
In the learning process, the girls were told how to manipulate the product so that the work was perfect. They must profile the brush with their lips, instead of putting it in a glass of water, since it would be finer and the forecast would be better. And so, every time they wet the brush, a part of the radio went directly to their body irremediably.
If they asked that if that would not be bad immediately, they were told not, that a little radio was even beneficial to health. The people of the time drank water with radio to enrich it, you could obtain radio products such as butter or cosmetics, which included that new element.
It was already known that Radio was harmful, that people had died and that to manipulate it, it had to be done in a special suit.
All those girls began their way to a safe death because of deception and manipulation, every day at the end of their shifts, they shone in the dark, so they began to call them ‘the ghost girls’ or the green girls.They due to ignorance, they took every advantage taking their best galas to the factory to shine at night in the dance halls. They even painted the radio teeth to look prettier and brighter, until ..
In 1922 Mollie Maggia had to leave her job by not being well..She felt sick and she didn’t know she was happening. She began to hurt a tooth and the dentist from extracted him, then she touched the next and the other..In the place where the teeth had been, very painful ulcers began to leave..The disease spread to her extremities and continued advancing.
In May 1922, she was already desperate, she had lost most of her teeth, that strange and mysterious infection extended without anything could avoid it..Everything that covers the mouth and even some of the bones of it, was at the mercy of an immense infection that does not end here..
When the dentist pushed her jaw in her, she is broken in her fingers and removed her without any operation..He took her with her own fingers against her astonishment and horror..And only three days she did the same with the lower.
Mollie was falling apart and others from her companions began to suffer the same symptoms.
In less than a year., That disease had already spread to her throat and she advanced towards the jugular vein. At 5 in the afternoon of September 1922 Mollie died of a hemorrhage so abundant in the mouth that she was impossible to stop. She was only 24 years old and her doctors were bewildered. In his death certificate it is stated that he died of a sexual transmission disease: syphilis.
One of Mollie’s companions, Grace Fryer, daughter of a trade union activist, already severely affected by the radio, led a hard fight against the company asking for responsibilities. Very difficult thing before the giant businessmen who denied everything..and rejected any responsibility for what was happening to the girls. They came to affirm that all this are produced by the same disease for which the first victim died.
After two years of María Tira and loosen, the company suffered a crisis due to the rumors and finally agreed that an expert will investigate the radio relationship with the profession of spheres paints that were exercised there..It was the year 1924.
Indeed, the expert confirmed the full relationship of the radio and the diseases that these women were suffering. When I take the report to the President, he entered into anger and refused to accept the results nefarious.
Payment to make a false report by publishing a false conclusion, also lying to the Labor Department.
This department had already begun investigating the authentic report. Mr. David, who was called the business day, said that women were attempted to type him the disease to take advantage of him and ask for compensation to be able to pay for his treatments.
For them with that attitude, and a totally silenced report, it was impossible for them to prove the relationship of their conditions with the radio.
But everything changed with the death of the first man used of that company. The outstanding doctor Harrison Martland was finally able to try once and for all, that the radio had been the cause of employee poisoning.
He not only demonstrated the cause of poisoning., He also explained the ravages he made in the body. The radio ingested even in small quantities, was a thousand times more aggressive and devastating than mere exposure to it.
Now I was housed inside the girls emitting constant radiation, drilling the women’s bones while they were alive..The jaws disappeared, the legs shortened, their bones broke spontaneously..It was the path of death without any remedy ..
The bones shone on the radio they contained. If the girl got in front of a mirror in the dark and she shone, she already knew that she was sentenced to death.
Grace Fryer led that struggle for justice decorated, with her companions already as an altruistic act, her lives were already lost. In all the United States there were paintings of spheres working, for it and why it served as an example. Not in vain the poisoning by this radioactive element was not even cataloged as a disease until they became ill, it did not exist as such.
Then there were the laws that established certain conditions, such as that by poisoning they should undertake legal actions at least two years, and they began 5 after having started working. But that did not prevent Grace from being determined to undertake a hard legal battle, to declare that guilty company.
She knew that it was not going to be easy and that time played against her, the lawyers she visited closed the doors claiming that it is very difficult for David to come to Goliath.
In 1927, Raymond Berry, a brilliant and ambitious lawyer, accepted the case. Despite meeting a famous international court.
Time was running out, the doctors did not give the girls more than four months of life.The company knew it and as much as possible to delay legal procedures.
The machine was underway and it was already unstoppable. The press contributed to spread the news that people read horrified. Complaints of similar companies were made and there were quite a few disturbances. And those companies also avoid all responsibility.
Grece died in the attempt to just like his companions.
And it was Catherine Wolfe, an Otawa spheres painter who after reading with horror what was published in the newspapers took over seeing that she had those same symptoms.
In 1930, when USA was in the great depression, Catherine and her companions were rejected in her community by having sued one of the few companies that was still standing.
In 1938, she already about to die of her case comes to court. Ignoring the advice of the doctors, she made her statement from her death accompanied by her lawyer.He achieved justice, not only for her, also for workers everywhere.
The case of ghost women marked a before and after. Almost pioneers in demanding a company for threatening the health of its employees, they also managed to create a creation of laws that finally protected the employee from atrocities such as those they had lived. An establishment of occupational health and safety administration was created. That now watches over the interests and health of workers.
It is evident that these women left a legacy for very valuable science. They paid a very high price but prevented these things from being repeated in the future.You will not see them in the history books, they are forgotten women but, there are always those who investigate, remember or run into their history and as I now, he decides to reissue what he has read and seen.
We must thank Grace Fryer and Catherine Donohue, because they are worthy people to praise since they got the rights of the worker with their effort and sacrifice. Somehow, we have all benefited from it and we have to make them shine in history by their value. Unfortunately, they also shine for something else: the radio, since their half -life is 1600 years so, being inserted in their bones, they will continue to shine in their tombs for a long time ..