Radium is a radioactive element that was once used as a paint pigment for the numbers on clocks. Radium was used because it glowed on account of its radioactivity, and folks could see the numbers on the clocks at night. Unfortunately, the workers (mostly women) that painted these clocks tended to develop cancer. They would often moisten the paint brushes by wetting them with their mouths. In doing so, they ingested radium. Radium is in the same row of the periodic table as calcium, and therefore has chemical characteristics similar to calcium. Radium therefore accumulates in the bones and teeth when ingested. The women who painted the clocks with radium likely developed cancer as a result of the radioactive radium emitting radiation within their bones.