Radium Girls, Way to Die #196, is the fourth death featured in "Cure for the Common Death, Part I", which aired on March 22, 2009.
In the 1920s, Wendy and a group of women work at a factory that uses paint containing radium to create fluorescent watch faces. Wendy and the women notice that the paint also glows when applied to their skin. They eventually expose themselves to huge amounts of radiation after repeated applications (mostly using the radioactive paint as glow-in-the-dark body paint for their lovers during sex). Wendy was one of the first women to die from bone cancer, and six of her surviving colleagues joined together and filed one of the first successful workers' rights lawsuits against the company and won, leading to increased safety standards in American workplaces. Wendy is now sent to heaven, where all of the Radium Girls will surely meet her one day.
"It turns out the company knew all along about the harmful effects of radium, yet they allowed the girls to ingest it daily."
Interviewees and Cast
- Dr. Kim Henderson - Toxicologist
- Marion Kerr - Wendy (lead:intended victim)
- Christine Mulhern - Radium Co-Worker
- Christopher Whalen (I) - Wendy's Husband
- Georgia Reed (I) - Radium Co-Worker
- Based on a real story about Radium Girls from 1917 to 1926.