Love Canal

Love Canal, with its shocking images of toxic chemicals seeping into suburban basements and the emergency evacuation of a neighborhood, played a critical role in raising awareness of the dangers of industrial wastes. Love Canal was an abandoned canal in Niagara Falls, New York, where approximately 22,000 tons of chemical wastes were dumped in the 1940s and 1950s. After the dump's closure, a public elementary school, streets of modest single-family houses, and a public housing complex were built on and around the former canal. Over time, drums of chemical wastes began protruding through the soil, chemicals ponded on the surface, and choking odors filled basements and neighborhoods. When it grabbed national headlines in 1978, Love Canal dramatically increased the public's fear of chemical wastes, sparked ...

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