The Love Canal: Beyond science?



When in 1978, the New York State Department of Health issued the report, ‘Love Canal—Public Health Time Bomb,’ the serious effects of chemical waste contamination in the Love Canal area became an issue of national concern. A few ‘studies’ since then have produced results in concert with those of initial reports that described ‘conditions of acute health effects’ as being linked to hazardous wastes incorporated in landfill in the Love Canal site near Niagara Falls, New York. Now that a ‘blue ribbon’ panel of experts from the medical sciences has reviewed the problems of Love Canal, however, a different view has emerged. The ‘Report of the Governors' Panel to Review Scientific Studies and the Development of Public Policy on Problems Resulting from Hazardous Wastes,’ transmitted in October of this year, identifies the following factors about the health effects at Love Canal: