Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive -- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.