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Neighbourhood in Niagara Falls, N.Y., the site of the worst environmental disaster involving chemical wastes in U.S. history. Originally the site of an abandoned canal, it became a dumping ground for nearly 22,000 tons of chemical waste in the 1940s and '50s. The canal was later filled in, and housing was built on it. The leakage of toxic chemicals into these homes was detected in 1978, and residents were discovered to have a high incidence of chromosome damage. After their evacuation, 1,300 former residents obtained a $20 million settlement from the dumping company and the city. In the early 1990s New York state ended its cleanup and declared parts of the area safe for residence.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Love Canal, visit Britannica.com.
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