Background first in Orange, New Jersey, beginning

Background   The US Radium Corporation create a brand of luminous paint dubbed ‘Undark.’ It was used to paint the dials on watches, allowing people to see what time it was in the dark. This was done in three factories across the US. The first in Orange, New Jersey, beginning around 1917. Women were hired to do this, being paid considerably more than they would have received in other areas of work.Build-Up   The women working in the facilities were told the paint was harmless, and therefore ingested deadly amounts of radium after being instructed to point their brushes on their lips in order to give them a fine point. A few of them also painted their face, teeth, and fingernails with the glowing substance. Unfortunately a few years later many of these women became very sick.Main EventAlbina and Quinta Larice, along with Grace Fryer, Katherine Schaub, and Edna Hussman were the five women from New Jersey who filed a lawsuit against the US Radium Corporation. The settlement for each of the Radium Girls was $10,000 (equivalent to $139,000 in today’s money) and $600 per year, plus $12 a week for all of their lives ($8,400 today)Short Term   In 1927, workers in the state of Illinois began asking for compensation for their medical and dental bills. They were refused by the management of their companies. The demand for money by sick and dying former employees continued through the mid 1930s. Then, a lawsuit was filed against the Illinois Industrial Commission to give workers these benefits. Long Term    Radium paint was still used in dials as late as the 1960s, but the process of using it became much safer. The publicity of the main event was a huge factor in the establishment of the occupational disease labor law. Radium dial painters were from then on instructed in proper safety precautions. They also began wearing protective gear. But most importantly, they no longer shaped paint brushes by lip and avoided ingesting or breathing the paint. Thesis Draft In 1937, 5 factory workers from Orange, New Jersey known as the Radium Girls sued their former employers, the United States Radium Corporation (USRC), for their deteriorating health due to radium exposure. The conflict led to media coverage of the lawsuit, which ended up in the creation of the occupational disease labor law, and also changed safety protocols in factories.

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