Radithor, a health drink in the 1920s, contained radium and slowly killed its customers. But it didn’t cause a public health crisis because it could only be afforded by rich people (unlike cheaper, safer knockoffs).
Trees in the red forest, a forest in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, are not decaying because organisms that recycle organic matter suffer from radiation as well.
Lake Karachay in Russia was used as a radioactive waste dump, and has been described as the most polluted place on the planet. Standing on the shore for an hour would give you a lethal dose of radiation.
Sitting close to the TV will not damage your eyesight. The myth spread after it was discovered that tv’s made prior to 1967 emitted excessive radiation.
In 1994 a 17 yr old boy used radioactive material from homemade items like clocks to build himself a nuclear reactor. Although it never came anywhere near reaching critical mass, it ended up emitting dangerous levels of radiation, likely over 1,000 times normal background radiation.
All steel produced after 1945 is contaminated with background radiation because of the use of nuclear weapons. Such steel is unusable for many scientific and medical applications and steel made before 1945, often taken from sunken battleships, must be used instead.
Living next to a nuclear plant for 1 year gives you 100 times less radiation than eating a bag of potato chips every day for 1 year.
The Radium Girls were factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with self-luminous paint. The women were told the paint was harmless, and ingested deadly amounts by licking their paintbrushes; some painted their fingernails and teeth with the glowing paint.
The fertilizer used by the tobacco industry is radioactive. The plant absorbs it and the smoker inhales it. It gets lodged in the lungs and over time contributes a huge radiation dose to the smoker and could be factor in lung cancer.
There has been a number of long term studies on the possibility of dosing food in radiation as a form of preservation and sterilization. However, while it has been found to be completely safe, there is a large resistance to it because of the negative impression of and confusion over radiation.