The tragic true story behind why these women’s graves glow, over 100 years later.

At first, doctors thought Amelia had died from syphilis, but as more of her former colleagues began to display similar symptoms, they connected the dots. 

As more people became gravely ill or died from radium poisoning, a handful of brave women came forward to fight the factories they once worked for.

Grace Fryer, Katherine Schaub, Albina Larice, Quinta McDonald and Edna Hussman banded together to sue Radium Corp for exposing them to lethal radium poisoning. Through their plight for justice, they became known as the Radium Girls.

Throughout the trial, damaging information came out about just how harmful the radium exposure was. Physicist Elizabeth Hughes tested the radioactivity present in the Radium Girls and found that all five had measurements so high their breath had become toxic.

As the trial garnered worldwide attention, Radium Corp had no choice but to settle out of court. But despite the win, just a few short years later, two of the defendants, Katherine Schaub and Grace Fryer, died from radium poisoning.

Now some 100 years later, the women’s graves still shine a rich green from beneath the ground, emanating the radium that took their lives too early.

Feature image: Chicago National Archives.

Is your world thrown into chaos when your kids are sick? We want to hear from you. For your time, you’ll go in the running to win one of four $50 gift vouchers!