Mad Hatters, Radium Girls and the Asbestos Hotel

October 21, 2018, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

As an industrial state, NJ is no stranger to industrial toxins. In recent decades, we have been home to over 140 Superfund cleanup sites administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Historically, three NJ industrial toxins-–-mercury, radium, and asbestos-–-have their own harrowing stories to tell. At 2:00 p.m. retired internist Dr. Sandra Moss will describe how the hatting industry in Essex County, including South Orange and Orange in the late 19thc century, exposed workers to toxic mercury fumes, causing mental and physical disabilities, dozens of radium dial painters at a factory in Orange–-all young women---suffered and died from radiation in the interwar years, and at mid-century, workers at Manville, the “asbestos city,” fell ill with damaged lungs, as did workers who installed the insulation products produced at the Manville plant. Audience input and observations are welcome.

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Farming and Industry Local History

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