Sunday, May 17, 2009

Marie Curie Took Her Work Home with Her

For a long time it was assumed that anything so miraculously energetic as radioactivity must be beneficial. For years, manufacturers of toothpaste and laxatives put radioactive thorium in their products ... Radioactivity wasn't banned in consumer products until 1938. By this time it was much too late for Madame Curie, who died of leukemia in 1934. Radiation, in fact, is so pernicious and long lasting that even now her papers from the 1890s -- even her cookbooks -- are too dangerous to handle. Her lab books are kept in lead-lined boxes, and those who wish to see them must don protective clothing.
--from A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson, p. 111.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: