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The Radium Girls


The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.
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Discuss The Radium Girls by Kate Moore:
Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Created: 07/29/18

Replies: 22

Posted Jul. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Even after radium was proved poisonous, and the illness verified as work-related, the radium companies stood fast by their convictions. Why do you believe they were so resilient, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 18

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I think their actions are similar to many corporations of today and I think it all boils down to one thing---greed. For me, one perfect example of a corporation that acts exactly the same way, if not worse, is Monsanto. Their chemicals are poisoning the environment and causing cancer and they continue to deny it. Big tobacco companies are guilty of producing a product that they know causes cancer and they deny it.

I think the women were resilient because they knew what caused their illnesses and they didn't want it to happen to other women.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 48

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Many companies still behave in such a manner, as evidenced by the manner in which they defend themselves in lawsuits. Cigarette companies still try to claim their products aren't as bad for people as scientific research shows. Drug companies downplay the negative side effects of their products, or claim they don't advertise products illegally or pay doctors to promote dangerous painkillers. Organizations like the NRA try to claim the best solution to gun violence is more guns.

The reason for the resilience and lies is the bottom line: money. The companies want to make a profit and don't care who is hurt in the process.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 106

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I totally agree--greed! And no matter how many laws there are to protect workers, the environment, or the population at large there will always be corporate alliances with politicians and the little man will suffer over and over and over. Sometimes, if there is enough money, a lawyer who is dedicated and litigants who have the strength of these women, there will be an occasional victory against them. Notice how there were no prison sentences, no charges against the people who carried out the horror. Big corporations can handle fines and there are probably ways for them to deduct them from their taxes--the cost of doing business.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RuthEh

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 15

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Big business generally promotes what is best for them. Why would any executive of a company say they were responsible for anything harmful, it takes away their paycheck!! How could any of them sleep at night knowing the girls were so ill. Even today, there are still companies that will deny and deny and deny they cause their workers any harm, again because of greed and lack of a conscious! Been there, done that!


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 215

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

The companies were governed by their bottom line, and willing to rationalize their way past any explanation that might damage it. They blamed lifestyle, genetics -- you name it -- rather than own up to the obvious problem. They were aided by the promoters of radium who had set it up as a wonder drug, allowing them to dismiss the causal relationship to the harms the women were experiencing. I believe this happens frequently today - numerous examples are offered above, and the current opioid crisis is an especially pertinent case in point.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I think the radium companies knew their product was dangerous, but to admit it would mean the loss of income. It would also mean compensating those they damaged. I do think there are companies today that cover safety issues up. However, I think workers and others are more willing to come forward and reveal the wrongdoing.


Posted Aug. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 88

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Greed is the bottom line....and yes it still exists . We have to remain vigilant and not be passive. It takes strong people to keep up the struggle against inequality


Posted Aug. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I think, initially, they were hiding behind the fact that the Curie's discovery of radium was a good thing. People were taking it because it was described as being a cure for cancer. As time went on, the companies were becoming more and more financially successful without the knowledge being known of the tragic consequences that were happening to their employees.


Posted Aug. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

As I mentioned above, look at cigarettes and Monsanto now. Unfortunately greed still has a place in the modern world.


Posted Aug. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I, at one time, worked at a large technology firm. Once a year, they would issue a list to all employees of all the chemicals that were being used. I'm sure that this is one safeguard that has been put in place as a result of the radium poisoning at that time. In this enlightened age, I think we can be more assured of the safety practices that have undergone scrutiny in light of past tragedies.


Posted Aug. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

There is no difference that I can see from the radium companies to today's corporations. It all comes down to money. People are of no consequence - money is the factor!


Posted Aug. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 18

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Money and power.


Posted Aug. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

All of you bring up valid points and I would have to agree with you, except for the statement about the NRA.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Readers have mentioned cigarette companies and Monsanto, both of which are continuing to harm the environment. The difference with Radium Girls is that the harm was done to employees and led to stricter laws for employment. Yes, it also led to more knowledge of the dangers of radium, but the attacks on cigarette companies and Monsanto are from individuals. One needs a wider action. What I also find harmful are the use of opioids leading to drug use and advertisement of electric cigarettes to replace regular cigarettes, and yet did they. Maybe we did stricter laws on advertising. Just a thought.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I agree that greed was the biggest factor and yes it does continue today with other products. I think people are in too big a rush to make things available that have not been thoroughly tested. We have become to complacent and too eager to believe in advertisement. We still need strong workers and victims like the Radium Girls to stand up and speak out with something is not right. There needs to be more laws and regulations in place and dedicated people to enforce them.


Posted Aug. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BetsyBookWorm

Join Date: 05/20/17

Posts: 7

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

It took time for radium to have its tragic effects, and in the meantime, companies were making a lot of money, and the war effort benefited from the radium dials. So there was a strong positive push for the radium, and people didn't want to believe it might have ill effects. It was much better for company leaders to ignore the evidence. Yes, I can definitely imagine this happening today - it's happening every time people use plastic when they know that plastic is destroying our oceans or every time people burn fossil fuels even when evidence is overwhelming that carbon emissions are destroying the planet. It's too hard to change, so people are very resilient in their conviction that they don't need to change.


Posted Aug. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
betht

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 13

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Pure and simple greed. It's still happening today! With pharmaceuticals, with weedkillers, with the hormones and chemicals that are placed in animal feed, hazardous materials being buried and poisoning the ground water. The almighty dollar wins almost every time, and it's pathetic.


Posted Aug. 24, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
evelyng

Join Date: 02/07/18

Posts: 8

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

The radium companies did not want to pay the women for their awful sickness because of greed and I believe that women were/are considered second class citizens. If it had been men, they still would have been slow to admit their fault in contributing to the terrible physical conditions of their former workers, but they would have been quicker on all levels to recognize the plight of men, rather than mere women. The idea that women's lot was to endure was deeply ingrained in those times and that residue is still evident today in many areas...although it is rapidly...Thank Heaven....disappearing. These poor Souls did endure such grisly hardship and it was so good to read that eventually they were recognized for their suffering, even though it was a debt that could never fully be repaid for all of their agonies.


Posted Aug. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolynv

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 16

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Profit and power. Yes, I think modern companies do the same. We need checks and balances in our systems


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 104

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RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

Sadly I think it happens all the time nowadays. Corporations are paying out much bigger settlements now then back then. The Radium companies were able to stay profitable with the settlements they were negotiating.


Posted Aug. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tigerlilly

Join Date: 08/11/18

Posts: 7

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

I think, in some respects, nothing has changed. A lawsuit was just won by a man dying of lung cancer against Monsanto over a weed killer. Why do dying people have to endure lawsuits to get compensated for the loss of the quality of their life and then finally, their life? I think we need a change in our judicial system for cases where an individual has to fight a corporation. Corporate pockets are deep and it's nothing to them to keep fighting and fighting. The little guy is the one who is hurt further. There should be deep penalties if a company continues to appeal and lose and meanwhile the little guy has to give at least a third of the award to the lawyer he hopes he can get to fight for him on contingency. When I look at the photos of the sarcomas a few of the radium girls had....I am just sickened that a company continued to fight against them when their lives were ruined by the radium illness.


Posted Sep. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianet

Join Date: 08/13/18

Posts: 6

RE: Why do you believe the radium companies were so resilient in their conviction, and can you imagine modern companies behaving with such similar ruthlessness?

The companies were and still are resilient because they are "the company". Nothing has changed through the years and actually seem to be becoming more brash. Greed is greed.


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