Love Canal


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Love Canal,

section of Niagara Falls, N.Y., that formerly contained a canal that was used as chemical disposal site. In the 1940s and 50s the empty canal was used by a chemical and plastics company to dump nearly 20,000 tons (c.18,000 metric tons) of toxic waste; the waste was sealed in metal drums in a manner that has since been declared illegal. The canal was then filled in and the land given to the expanding city of Niagara Falls by the chemical company. Housing and an elementary school were built on the site. By the late 1970s several hazardous chemicals had leaked through their drums and risen to the surface. Investigations confirmed the existence of toxins in the soil and determined that they were responsible for the area's unusually high rates of birth defectsbirth defects,
abnormalities in physical or mental structure or function that are present at birth. They range from minor to seriously deforming or life-threatening. A major defect of some type occurs in approximately 3% of all births.
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, miscarriages, cancercancer,
in medicine, common term for neoplasms, or tumors, that are malignant. Like benign tumors, malignant tumors do not respond to body mechanisms that limit cell growth.
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, illness, and chromosome damage. Families were evacuated from the area in 1978, and in 1980 the Love Canal area was declared a national emergency.

The disaster led to the creation of the Environmental Protection AgencyEnvironmental Protection Agency
(EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and disposal of toxic
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's "Superfund," which makes responsible parties liable for the cleanup of environmental hazards. More than $20,000,000 in settlement damages was paid by the chemical company and the city of Niagara Falls to a group of former residents. The company also agreed in 1994 to pay New York state $98 million and in 1995 to pay the federal government $129 million toward the costs incurred during the cleanup of the area. The evacuated neighborhood was repopulated in the 1990s after the cleanup was completed.

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References in periodicals archive ?
based network to dispose of the waste, which has become somewhat infamous due to the fact that Love Canal contains some 21,000 tons of toxic waste dumped by a chemical company in the mid-1900s.
The lawsuits, which don't specify damages sought, contend Love Canal was never properly remediated and dangerous toxins continue to leach onto residents' properties.
The population of the city's Love Canal neighborhood then grew, and by the 1960s residents began complaining about odors and residues.
On the thirtieth anniversary of the crisis at Love Canal, the author of this study presents a timely reexamination of the controversial event that made "hazardous waste" a household word in North America.
But times have changed a lot since Love Canal, with the whole thing about going green and the environment.
EPIDEMIOLOGY Cancer among Former Love Canal Residents
The law was passed after the Love Canal disaster captured headlines across the country.
Back in 1978, a time long before social media existed, Lois Gibbs, a local mother and president of the Love Canal Homeowners' Association, first associated exposure to the leaking chemical waste with the epilepsy, asthma and urinary tract infections that were recurring in her children.
Remember the Love Canal at Niagara Falls, that horrible toxic waste dump of the early 1970s that destroyed the lives of thousands of people?
Among the topics are whether the loss of the Roanoke Colony was caused by environmental factors, whether a whale was worth the effort to Nantucketeers, working in a coal mine, Little Bighorn and native policy, Rachael Carson and changing views of chemicals, conceiving of human evolution, Love Canal and the Superfund, the Green Party, and wolves in Yellowstone.
His biggest cost-recovery case was Love Canal - the toxic tragedy that launched the Superfund program.
Lawrence River to monitor PCB toxicity while continuing to promote breastfeeding as a primary option for women and their babies; the Greening of Harlem initiated by Bernadette Cozart, a gardener and founder who organises diverse community groups in Harlem to transform vacant garbage-strewn lots into food and flower gardens; Sister Rivers performance ritual in which Japanese women placed rice, seeds, and soil from Hiroshima and Nagasaki in pillowcases and then floated the artwork down the Kama River; the exposure of the Love Canal as a toxic waste site set off by Lois Gibb, and her founding of the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste to share tactical skills with local environmental groups.