Love Canal was once a chemical waste dumping ground located in Niagara Falls, NY., only miles from where I grew up. Originally, the idea of The Love Canal was to serve as a canal that would connect the two levels of the Niagara River ultimately resulting in an easier and less expensive way to generate power. Unfortunately, only about a mile of the canal was dug before money ran out to proceed with the project. Therefore, this mile long hole in the ground was used by local residents as a swimming pool in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter until a local chemical company purchased the canal to use as a waste site to dump their excess chemicals into. Overtime, more than 21,000 tons of chemicals were tossed into the canal and simply …show more content…
The President eventually ordered an evacuation in addition to buying out 239 of the closest homes to the canal so those residents could move to safer areas. The Love Canal uproar generated multiple improvements to the environment as well as ignited major interest in environmental research. In following, the formation of The Center for Health, Environment and Justice was formed as well. This assemblage works hard at providing direct assistance to citizens faced with environmental problems. It is important to continually pursue the safety of our environment and be the driving force for change as it directly impacts our health and well-being along with the health of who we may be carrying as well. Teratogens contribute to birth defects whether they are what you directly put into your body knowingly or what is being put into your body through your environment. It is crucial to be aware of what could potentially harm your fetus, staying clear of those teratogens, and always voicing any concerns about potential threats. It doesn't take a lot of a bad thing to be detrimental to a
At first, the local government and scientists denied there was any problem at Love Canal, prolonging the exposure while citizens kept getting sicker and sicker and the problem continued to grow. Finally, the governor of New York announced the state would purchase the contaminated homes and help with a relocation effort, with emergency founding by President Carter. While at first exacerbating the situation, the government eventually aided in removing citizens from toxic
Superfund sites are districts in communities that have abandoned hazardous wastes on territories that need immediate removal.In the early 70’s the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 encouraged Superfund statues in Washington and these statues handle issues associated with land pollution and abandoned hazardous waste on territories .Superfund acts aid Washington and environmental agencies with removing hazardous waste and it also, allows them to pursue people and corporations that own hazardous waste territories. The principles for the Superfund acts include the quick removal of hazardous materials when environmental regulations demand it, bringing legal disputes against owners of hazardous waste territories, initiating communities and states in waste removal processes and developing extended programs that protect citizens from hazardous waste territories .In the late 70's environmental advocates discovered the contamination at the Superfund site called the Love Canal in Niagara Falls ,NY and they also discovered the surrounding territories contained pollutants and abandoned hazardous waste .The Love Canal is New York states first case of environmental neglect by a corporation and this community and facilities contained hazardous polluted water and dirt that resulted from years of accidental spills ,leaks and irresponsible business recycling
The homes in the area were built very close to an old canal that had been used a landfill for hazardous waste. Over time the hazardous waste leached into the surrounding soil and city water, causing birth defects, death of pets, and injuries to those in contact with the soil and water. With that, the Superfund legislation was created. “Mr. Carter asked Congress for legislation that would establish a $1.6 billion fund to enable the Government to respond to the Love Canal and similar hazards, and that the financial burden should fall on those chiefly responsible for generating toxic
Love Canal, a Niagra Falls, New York neighborhood, drew headline attention after newspaper sources revealed that the land had been used to bury excessive amounts of toxic waste, in the form of lye and chlorinated limestone by the landowners, Hooker Chemical Company, in the 1920s.
The prevalence of environmental issues in the public awareness reached a point where government was forced to take action in 1979. When Henry Love abandoned construction of a canal in New York in 1920, the site was bought by Hooker Chemical and used as a toxic chemical waste dumping site for the next 33 years (Schons 2011). Then in 1953 Hooker Chemical sold the Love Canal to the school board, and construction of a school began. In the mid to late 1970s, when children’s shoes began melting to the ground and children got sick the residents organized and protested. Media coverage increased and showed toxic black sludge oozing into people’s basements (Schons 2011). The lack of awareness of environmental and health consequences of chemical dumping
The residents of the Love Canal reported visible havoc in the backyards of their homes. Also, the air had a toxic aroma and when the youngsters would go out to play they would return with wounds and burns all around their faces and hands. Although believed that no diseases would emerge (“The War” 1) it was proven wrong. Due to the chemical exposure not only was the environment beginning to decay but there was a high rate of miscarriages and many of the locals were put under quarantine due to a high amount of white blood cells. The most familiar chemical detected was Benzene, which is extremely harmful to the human bone marrow and also causes a dramatic decrease in red blood cells.
Soon after, the Love Canal exploded (www2.epa.gov). Rainwater filled the soil raising the chemicals to the surface. These chemicals filled in homes, the school, and created many problems for families. Children became burned, people found themselves with inflamed skin, and mothers had to watch their children suffer with sickness. Along with these effects came one that seemed a nightmare. Children were born with birth defects. One child was born deaf, with a cleft lip, and even had an extra row of teeth. Another child was born without eyes. Mothers became frightened. Frantically, they went to the government for help. The families wanted the problem fixed without losing their homes or moving away. They wanted the government to relocate them and fix the problem, but the government didn't listen, so the mothers began to riot. They started petitions, marches, and gatherings for the community. Picket signs were made and children marched with their swollen
After the defeat with the sole use of the popular epidemiology technique, Lois Gibbs and the Homeowners Association decided to take a different approach when confronting the state. The Association elaborated that the toxic chemicals were “an attack on the nuclear family, as the toxic contamination threatened reproduction and homes” (Hay, “Everyone's Backyard: The Love Canal Chemical Disaster”). They showed that the chemicals were affecting the way the household should run, by hindering the reproduction process, and that the families who have not relocated should, in order to preserve the “[way of life]”. As the past attempts have failed, this effort too failed to get all community members relocated (Hay, “Everyone's Backyard: The Love Canal
The Hooker Chemical Company had dumped over 21,000 tons of toxic material into the Love Canal site near Niagara Falls and later sold the property to the local school board for one dollar in 1953. It wasn't until August 2, 1978, that this information became fully exposed to the public, but the toxins had already caused an unnaturally high number of birth defects, miscarriages, and other tragedies to the residents in the city.
The Love Canal disaster which resulted in a myriad of genetic mutations in upstate New York from 1979-1981 prompted civilian unrest and protests nationwide. Prior to public awareness of the environmental and health hazards occurring across the United States, radioactive waste was nonchalantly dealt with as medical conditions were unknown to public knowledge. In 1979, after residents of Love Canal unified and discussed the medical conditions that plagued their children and newborns, outcry began to spring as residents demanded governmental answers, response, and action. Prominent leaders among civilians became immortalized as the first environmental reformers in western society, specifically Lois Gibbs, who led numerous
The Love Canal disaster which resulted in a myriad of genetic mutations in upstate New York from 1979-1981 prompted civilian unrest and protests nationwide. Prior to public awareness of the environmental and health hazards occurring across the United States, radioactive waste was nonchalantly dealt with as medical conditions were unknown to public knowledge. In 1979, after residents of Love Canal unified and discussed the medical conditions that plagued their children and newborns, outcry began to spring as residents demanded governmental answers, response, and action. Prominent leaders among civilians became immortalized as the first environmental reformers in western society, specifically Lois Gibbs, who led numerous protests and
4. The OTA analysis of the EPA monitoring study data provided limited, but not conclusive, indication that there may have been contamination in the EDA by toxic chemicals from Love Canal. OTA was able to examine only those data for chemicals known to have been disposed in Love Canal, as compared to the much larger universe of data analyzed by
From 1942 until 1953, the canal was filled with 21,800 tons of toxic chemical wastes (Hoffman 6). The uncertain inventory includes over 13 million pounds of lindane (benzene hexachloride), more than 4 million pounds of chlorobenzenes, and 400,000 pounds of dioxin-contaminated trichlorophenol, which are all extremely carcinogenic compounds. There are at least 200 identified chemicals dumped in the canal, but many unknowns are also present as a result of chemical reactions that took place in the complex mixture.
By the late 1920’s the canal was being used as a dumpsite by municipal and commercial entities. 82 different chemicals 11 of them known carcinogens had been dumped by the Hooker Chemical Company for over twenty five years. In 1953, the Hooker Chemical Company, then the owners and operators of the property, covered the canal with earth and sold it to the city for one dollar. This was definitely a bad buy for the city of Niagara, unfortunately it would take over 20 years to realize it. During that time more than 100 homes and one elementary school had been built over the landfill, this was definitely not the city that Love had envisioned.
In the 1920’s, the city bought the land at public auction, which became the municipal and chemical disposal site. (Beck) The city of Niagara Falls and The United States also participated in dumping garbage, military warfare material, and Manhattan Project. This was a disposal site for more than twenty years, until Hooker Chemical Company purchased the site for their chemical disposal. (Beck) In 1953, the Hooker Chemical Company filled the canal with twenty-two thousand tons of waste in barrels, which leaked, broke apart when being dump, and poured into the soil. (Gibbs) In addition, to avoid contaminants leaked to the top layer soil they would cover them up with cinders, ash, clay or loom to decrease the spill. (Gibbs)