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Books, Journals, New Media
October 14, 1998

Environmental HealthA Hazardous Inquiry: The Rashomon Effect at Love Canal

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 1998;280(14):1276. doi:10.1001/jama.280.14.1276-JBK1014-3-1

On the day I wrote this review, there appeared in a national newspaper a front page article on the health effects on Native Americans of a phosphorous plant on Indian lands in Idaho—lots of claims and counter-claims; not much science. As that sage, Yogi Berra, once said, "it's déjà vu all over again."

Environmental issues have over the past several decades captured the attention of a wide audience, including physicians, scientists, politicians, and citizens at large. One of the first great controversial episodes was Love Canal, a setting in Niagara Falls, NY, where a contaminated waste dump site was used to build houses and a local public school.

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