Love Canal tragedy is indeed one of the worst ecological catastrophes that the United States had to face in the 21st century. As the student stated, even now, researchers struggle to assess the damage that the resurfacing of toxic waste in the enclave cost. The environmental investigation has shown that due to the diversity of compounds that came into contact with human life, a great number of diseases were documented. For instance, benzene is a well-known skin irritant that may also lead to narcosis (Thomson 218). Another example is lindane causes involuntary convulsions and increases white blood cell count (Thomson 218). However, what makes the situation even worse is that every chemical compound found on-site has long-term effects such as leukemia, respiratory distress, deafness, liver tumor, and others. Seems like, the aftermath of this horrible accident will be haunting the residents of the area for years to come.
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The response to this ecological catastrophe consisted of three important steps. At first, the residents of the houses around the canal were relocated. It was done well before the completion of the Department of Health’s preliminary assessment of the gravity of the health hazard (Thomson 220). The priority was given to relocating small children and pregnant women as well as finding alternative housing for as many families as possible. As the student mentioned, the second phase included environmental cleanup that has been in action since 1979. It is worth mentioning that one of the greatest challenges is not only to remove contaminated soil and groundwater but also to make sure that the workers on site are safe. They are subject to ongoing monitoring and physical examinations before and after work shifts. This helps to ensure that none of them is exposed to unacceptable levels of contamination.
Thomson, Jennifer. “Toxic Residents: Health and Citizenship at Love Canal.” Journal of Social History, vol. 50 no. 1. 2016, pp. 204-223. Web.