Chemicals and Community at Love Canal

  • Martha R. Fowlkes
  • Patricia Y. Miller
Part of the Technology, Risk, and Society book series (RISKGOSO, volume 3)


In August 1978 residents of the neighborhood immediately adjacent to the Love Canal chemical landfill in Niagara Falls, New York, were notified by state health officials of the “grave and imminent peril” posed by exposure to its leaching contents.1 The uncontested facts of the situation were these: the 21,800 tons of residues and by-products that had been buried by Hooker Chemical Company in the neighborhood’s midst contained a number of chemicals known to have adverse effects on human health; this chemical waste had made its way to the surface of the landfill in places and had also leached laterally from its original burial site in the canal; the presence of toxic chemicals had been confirmed in and/or on the property of some specific homeowners. It was far less certain whether these conditions had actually physically harmed or injured residents or had placed them at widespread risk of physical harm or injury.


American Sociological Review York State Department Canal Site Maximalist Family Love Canal 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha R. Fowlkes
  • Patricia Y. Miller

There are no affiliations available

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