The women who took radium from savior to killer

When Marie Curie discovered radium, and word got out that it emitted a special type of energy, people began snapping it up. This was at at time when the entire world had begun craving more energy, whether it was electricity or gas. But radium started really making news when doctors noticed that exposure to radium was shrinking tumors. It was put in everything from cocktails to make-up, but its two main uses were health tonics and watch dials.
A millionaire, feeling tired, had been prescribed a tonic by his doctor. He wasn’t aware that it had radium in it, but following his doctor’s advice enthusiastically, he drank thousands of bottles over the course of a few years. By the time he died, he had wasted down to 90 pounds. The same photographic test, performed on his bones, left so many bright dots that they formed an exact outline of his vertebrae.

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