Can Living in Niagara Falls Effect Your Health?
In the Niagara Falls area, not only is the love canal a problem, but there are also landfills, and radioactive waste throughout the entire Niagara Falls region. The Niagara Falls region is among the top six counties in NYS with the highest rates of cancer prevalence. Rates within the area have grown 10% in the last couple of years. Roswell Park has collaborated with Niagara Falls Memorial Center and Golisano Center for Community Health have paired up to create the Golisano Medical Oncology Center to help with cancer care. Candace Johnson, the President and CEO of Roswell Park states that “We’ve had over 320 appointments for patients in the thoracic clinic from Niagara County”. Creating the new center in Niagara Falls will promote more people to come in for screening, rather than having to travel to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for treatment.
After the love canal crisis, The New York state health system was required to create a birth defect registry. Also passed was the Superfund Law, which now, is nearly out of money, leaving multiple toxic sites still for cleanup. Scientists continue to uncover long term health effect — related to toxic chemicals from the love canal. These chemicals can cause reproductive effects, which can continue on for generations to come. The area, which is love canal, was deemed uninhabitable in 1988, meaning new houses were not to be built, but the houses that were already there, can continue to be lived in. People living in the neighborhood today state, they had “no idea love canal was in their backyard.” Children who live in the homes, are not allowed outside of the mowed area of their home. George Kreutz, who lives on 101st Street, one of the neighborhoods with the highest contamination levels speaks of Niagara Falls saying,
“My drive through the area is a tour of industrial smells, rubber, sewage treatment, and various shades of acrid and sour odors near the chemical plants. And then I start noticing the landfills, they seem to rise up everywhere. The region is home to more landfills than just about anywhere else in the nation, including some of the largest toxic waste landfills.”
ENGELHAUPT, E. (2008). Happy Birthday, Love Canal. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(22), 8179–8186. https://doi.org/10.1021/es802376z