Shanna Merola - #5
Polychlorinated Biphenyl C12H10-xC1x (2021)
The title of Shanna’s piece refers to one of the most extensively researched types of environmental contaminants, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs. Love Canal, NY made headline news in 1979 when this working-class community discovered they had been poisoned by leaking dioxin containers buried just below the asphalt. A few decades earlier, in the 1950’s, an industrial company dumped thousands of gallons of chemicals underground and sold that parcel of land to the Niagara Falls school board for one dollar. Fifteen years later, the mothers of Love Canal began reporting extremely high rates of birth defects, miscarriages, and childhood leukemia. Similar problems continue today in places like the water crisis in Flint Michigan and the military cover up at Camp LeJune in Jacksonville, NC.