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The Tragedy of Love Canal
Transcript of The Tragedy of Love Canal
Who was in the wrong - Hooker Chemical or the Niagara Falls School Board?
Is it morally acceptable to use people as means to an end? Is the result of poisoning some a necessary evil for production?
How could situations like this one be avoided in the future? Questions For Discussion Moral right = highest net gain happiness
Killing can be morally right if the good resulted outweighs the loss Implication: the "good" of Hooker products could outweigh the"bad" caused by the chemicals Kantian Approach People can never be "mere means to an end"
Killing is never a morally acceptable answer
Good results do not matter Implication: No matter the chemical use, poisoning the land is never okay because it injures people without their consent How Did Residents of Love Canal Utilize Ethical Principles? Care Ethics: Think of all other people as someone's child
Our emotions can help us make good ethical decisions
Utilized by Love Canal mothers
to garner support $7 Million in clean up from NY State
1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
Grassroots environmental movement
Benzene regulatory levels by the EPA
Current toxicity level maximum: 0.5mg/L
Reduction requirement to 2.0Mg/year maximum http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=529a4d44853084fbf3e34154ed592039&rgn=div6&view=text&node=40:126.96.36.199.1.29&idno=40 Pre-Sale History Post-Sale History Proper Dioxin Management Highly toxic environmental pollutants - the "dirty dozen"
Endures in the body for a long time, causing reproductive and developmental problems.
Occurs naturally - forest fires, in food;
mainly byproduct of industrial processes
Short term & long term exposure.
3 ounces have the potential to kill 1 million people. Focus Questions Who seems to be at fault here?
What actions could have prevented this tragedy?
How did chemical engineers play a role in this incident? What is "Love Canal"?:
1890s: Connected the Niagara River to Lake Ontario
1940s: US Army dumping ground
1942: Hooker Chemical gets permission to dump waste
1954: School construction begins
Niagara Falls School Board
Niagara Falls Residents
Love Canal, NY The public school district needed to expand due to a growing population
Hooker took members of the school board to show them the chemical waste on site
1953: Land sold for $1 http://reason.com/archives/1981/02/01/love-canal youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=tmC1RrUatik&NR=1 http://www.damninteresting.com/the-tragedy-of-the-love-canal/ "Give me Liberty. I've already got death."
- Neighborhood sign, 1978 Science of Dioxin Most countries monitor food supply - good control and practice
~130 pounds dioxin in Love Canal;
Chemicals will not decompose for
approximately 20,000 years
Best available method for contamination: Incineration
WHO - Stockholm Convention
Government regulation (EPA) Alternative Building Demonstration of Danger Dumping? Anticipate Problems http://www.dioxinfacts.org/sources_trends/trends_emissions.html "Dirty Dozen"
Widely-used chemical - as a solvent and reagent
Sources: cigarrete smoke, gasoline, industrial processes
Known to cause cancer
Breaks down slowly in water and soil
Regulation controlled by EPA http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/
http://www.onlineethics.org/cms/6534.aspx http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=38&tid=14 http://civil.engr.siu.edu/301I_Ray/he_love.htm transferrs the liability responsibility to the chairman of the Buildings Committee