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The Wild and the ToxicAmerican Environmentalism and the Politics of Health$
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Jennifer Thomson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651996

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651996.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

You’re Murdering Us

You’re Murdering Us

Love Canal and Human Health

(p.43) Chapter Two You’re Murdering Us
The Wild and the Toxic

Jennifer Thomson

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the activism of residents of Love Canal, New York, in response to the 1976 discovery of 21,000 tons of buried toxic waste in their community. It concentrates especially on the work of the Love Canal Homeowners Association. Love Canal residents understood the health of the human body through an assemblage of epidemiology, toxicology, and personal experience. They perceived the individual as the marker of community health, environmental reality, scientific legitimacy, and government responsibility, in the process coming to see the entire world as environmentally vulnerable. Their conflicting interpretations of citizenship rights illustrated how they were torn between the conviction that everyone had the right to environmental health, and the belief that the needs of national citizens should be prioritized.

Keywords:   Love Canal, Love Canal Homeowners Association, Antitoxics Activism, Xenophobia, Grassroots environmentalism, Health citizenship

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