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A short history of really toxic stuff in some everyday items, like clothing

The labels on products today make our choices easier. If it says "non-toxic," it's probably okay to use.

But back in our grandparents' time--maybe our great-grandparents'--labeling was not as good, AND all kinds of toxic substances went into everyday products. The stuff that made old hats stiff? Mercury. The lovely green in Victorian dresses? Arsenic.

The list goes on, and Chelsea Rose takes note of it in the latest edition of Underground History, our joint venture with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology.

Chelsea visits with Averie Foster, an occupational health consultant at Oregon OSHA. The conversation gets into potential hazards, and not just in museums; you may have some toxic heirlooms in the attic at home.

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Chelsea Rose is the director of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) and host of the Underground History podcast, which airs during the Jefferson Exchange on JPR's News & Information service and can be found on all major podcast platforms.