MAY 27, 2017 1:54 PM PDT

History's Deadliest Colors

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Humans have always had a natural attraction to colors. We've used colors extensively in self-expression, in arts, jewelry, clothing, and more. In our technicolor world, the more color variety, the better it seems.

But in the quest to find the richest, most unique shades of pigment, humans have stumbled upon several compounds that, while visually stunning, turned out to be deadly. The trio of deadly colors include green, white, and orange.

One of the most dangerous compounds in the green category is radium. Soon after its discovery in 1898, people fell in love with the brilliant shade of flaming green it emitted. It was then incorporated into jewelry, makeup, and other commercial packaging. The deadly effects of this radioactive compound wasn't fully understood until many decades later. People exposed to this compound suffered from sores, anemia, and bone cancer.

Watch the video to learn more about the deadly effects of dazzling white (lead) and scintillating orange (uranium oxide) colors.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JAN 29, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 29, 2020
Milk, a Controversial Food?
When it comes to foods with a controversial reputation, milk isn't your usual suspect. First and foremost, we humans are mammals and breast milk is a q...
FEB 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 12, 2020
Brain Patients are Advancing Research
Neuroscientists may face the challenge of not having enough material or high-quality material to study the condition they’re researching. Luckily&mda...
FEB 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 23, 2020
NASA Resolves a Minor Hiccup with Voyager 2 Spacecraft's Performance
After spending more than four decades in outer space, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft officially left the heliosphere and entered interstellar space in D...
MAR 08, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 08, 2020
Pumas Struggle to Take Down Guanacos
Pumas, like other large cats, are predacious animals that seek large prey capable of sustaining themselves and their cubs for extended periods. But sometim...
MAR 20, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 20, 2020
Exercise For Persons With COPD
The thought of starting an exercise program can be daunting, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COP...
MAR 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 24, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
Our solar system is only one out of hundreds of stellar systems residing in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s comprised of the Sun and eight known planets,...
Loading Comments...