The New York Times reports that two scientists working at the Radiographic Institute of Geneva have suffered hand injuries as a result of their work with X-rays: one lost two fingers, and another had to have his entire left hand amputated.
It’s unfortunate the scientists did not pay more heed to the views of Thomas A. Edison, an early pioneer in investigating X-rays who abruptly ended his experiments after his assistant Clarence Dally suffered horrific skin damage and eventually was forced to have both of his arms amputated — and Edison himself came close to losing his eyesight. In 1903, Edison said: “Don’t talk to me about X-rays, I am afraid of them.” The next year, after years of suffering during which cancer spread throughout his entire body, Dally died.
It would appear that scientists should avoid waving their hands in front of X-ray beams. Also, it might be a wise precaution for everyone to avoid drinking any product containing a radioactive substance, even one manufactured by a Harvard man.