MAY 27, 2017 01:54 PM PDT

History's Deadliest Colors

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
1 3 398

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
JUL 12, 2018
Videos
JUL 12, 2018
Why Poison Ivy Makes us Itch
For some people, summer comes with a risk of many itchy nuisances, including poison ivy.
JUL 16, 2018
Videos
JUL 16, 2018
Neuroscience and the Legal System.
In a court of law, it’s all about the evidence. Whether criminal or civil, the outcome of any legal proceeding must be based on what was presented as
JUL 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 24, 2018
These Animals Experience Harsher Childbirths Than Humans
You might be quick to think that humans have it hard during childbirth, but compared to a few other species in the animal kingdom, humans actually have it
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Why You Shouldn't Hold in a Sneeze
Despite how tempting it might be to hold in a sneeze when you’re in a public location, it’s in the best interest of your body that you just let
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
Some Ways of Healing the Brain Actually Damage It
Fixing the body usually involves “doing no harm” since that is part of the Hippocratic Oath doctors take. However, to repair the brain, sometim
AUG 15, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 15, 2018
What's So Special About Polarized Sunglasses?
Glare could cause discomfort in the eyes, even disability. To reduce the glare, one can try to reduce overall luminance, say by putting on a pair of generi
Loading Comments...