World history is interwoven with tragic threads of materials, chemicals, and products gone wrong, exposing the public and the environment to colossal harm. Sometimes this is due to oversights in research and unpredictable outcomes. After all, hindsight is 20/20. However, there have been many cases of companies actively suppressing damaging information from reaching the public for the sake of profit and reputation.
For example, the tobacco industry paid “merchants of doubt” doctors and scientists to deliberately obfuscate the truth about the dangers of cigarettes to health. Another example is the horrifying and tragic saga of the “Radium Girls”. Between 1917 and 1926, around 4,000 workers were told that the glowing paint used for watch dials was harmless and were encouraged to lick their paint brushes to create a fine point.
These “radium girls” suffered horrendous effects from radium exposure, such as anemia, bone fractures, necrosis of the jaw, and death. Some victims were so contaminated that radiation can be detected above their graves. This infographic from YourLawyer.com explores 20 materials that we discovered too late (by ignorance or deception) were hazardous to health and the environment.
infographic by: www.yourlawyer.com