Lessons from Love Canal is a project of the Program for the Ecology of Human Systems (PEHS), which is jointly sponsored by the Boston University School of Public Health and the Resource Institute for Low Entropy Systems (RILES). PEHS seeks to increase popular understanding of the implications to human and environmental health of technological choices and to influence public policy respecting those choices.
The Lessons from Love Canal project seeks to disseminate objective, science-based information about Love Canal, Niagara Falls, New York that became infamous in 1978 when residents realized that many of their health problems resulted from living next to a dump containing over 20,000 tons of chemicals. The project's collection includes original health studies from Love Canal, along with journal articles, government hearings, and correspondence about the health studies. It also collects related books and videos on Love Canal, searchable bibliographies of the collection, and lists of additional Love Canal materials not in the collection.
The Love Canal Homeowners' Association, under the leadership of its determined spokesperson, Lois Marie Gibbs, attracted national recognition to the community’s plight and to its right to a safe environment. In the following months and years, state agencies and independent researchers conducted numerous health studies, many of which generated additional controversy. Follow-up health studies on Love Canal residents continue today.
Some Love Canal studies have become models for current community environmental health studies. The collection lessons learned over three decades of controversy at Love Canal represents initial steps toward building a resource for future community-based studies.
As of January, 2007, the project's leaders were Dr. Richard Clapp, Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, and Ms. Genevieve Howe, Environmental Health Campaign Director for the Ecology Center.
Website: Lessons from Love Canal Homepage