A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Good ideas turned bad (Inventions) Take 2

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Redsoil:
Error occurred in the last one for some reason!
 ??? 
Reading on another thread about disposing of asbestos from building sites/renovations made me think about "inventions" that ended up being hazardous in one way or another.  It seems to be a pattern with humankind, that an invention is often lauded as the "best thing ever!", only with time and research (and often human casualties) to be proven dangerous.

Obviously, asbestos is only one of many products.  Another that immediately comes to mind is Thalidomide, used decades ago to alleviate morning sickness, but found  to cause deformities in babies.

So, what other items spring to mind? 

random numbers:
DDT.

RingTailedLemur:
CFCs in fridges and lead in petrol.

Unfortunately, both were thought up by the same man - Thomas Midgley, Jr.

mechtilde:
Various radioactive substances used in everyday objects, and even added to foods.

Uranium- a colourant for glass
Radium- glow in the dark watches, clock faces, marine and aeronautical instruments- oh and added to bread, toothpaste, suppositories...
Thorium- used in gas mantles.

On a less radioactive note- lead carbonate in paint. People knew how dangerous it was because the factory workers kept dying so young.

Arsenic in wallpaper, flypapers, used as a cosmetic, or as a tonic. Or even used as a food colourant causing deaths in Greenock in the 19th century.

Lady Snowdon:
Heroin.  Originally thought to be less addictive than other substances like morphine and prescribed for all sorts of conditions!

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