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The Love Canal disaster

How the Love Canal neigbourhood in the US came to symbolise the dangers of toxic waste. The residential area had been built on top of over 20,000 tonnes of industrial waste.

In the late 1970s toxic chemicals were discovered oozing from the ground in a neighbourhood in upstate New York. The neighbourhood was called Love Canal. Hundreds of houses and a school had been built on top of over 20,000 tonnes of toxic industrial waste. The disaster led to the formation in 1980 of the Superfund program, which helps pay for the clean up of toxic sites. Farhana Haider has been speaking to former Love Canal resident and campaigner Luella Kenny about her fight for relocation.

Photo Pres. Jimmy Carter, Love Canal resident Lois Gibbs, Rep. John LaFalce and Senator Jacob Javits signing the superfund legislation 1980. Credit Center for Health, Environment & Justice.

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