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Discuss the reasons why the Love Canal incident was significant to the field of environmental health. Please also describe protective measures and applications that have been put in place to avoid such situations from occurring in the future. Do you feel that these protective measures and applications are effective? Why, or why not?


                                 CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE

The Love Canal is located near Niagara Falls in New York and was used in 1942 for the disposal of over twenty thousand tons of toxic waste in metal containers (Friis, 2012).  In 1952, the Love Canal property was taken over by the city of Niagara Falls and residential homes were built on it, which lead to the Love Canal incident in 1960-1970 (Friis, 2012).  The residents of the Love Canal property began to experience adverse health effects such as urinary tract infections, birth defects, cancers, and miscarriages (Friis, 2012).  Due to this incident, it is considered to be significant in the environmental health field because they realized the important of proper toxic waste material disposal.  In addition, the Love Canal incident was taken care of by the Environmental Protection Agency creating the Superfund, which required the responsible parties to take the liability for their actions and pay money to the residents of the Love Canal property (Friis, 2012).  In my opinion, this may have resolved the problem at hand but it is not a good enough protective measure because just paying someone else to clean up one’s mess can always be an easy solution for large, wealthy companies.  I think environmental health specialists should take this into consideration and implement a new law that requires people to clean up their toxic waste prior to selling a property.  Toxic waste can be life threatening and it needs to be taken seriously.


Friis, R. H. (2012). Essentials of environmental health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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