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I write this not as a political tirade but as a cautionary tale from one who is old enough to remember the tragedies that come from lack of oversight of our environment. I read in the paper today that the EPA is going to be dismembered - more or less.

I remember Love Canal  - New York State Health Department<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Department_of_Health> Commissioner David Axelrod calls the Love Canal incident a "national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations".[1]<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal#cite_note-1>  What a disaster and heartbreak for families.

Then there was Agent Orange.

I lived in central New Jersey for 30 years and my late husband was a lawyer and worked for years dealing with companies cleaning up the rivers and water that had been condemned under the superfund act.  "In New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) Site Remediation Program oversees the Superfund program. As of 10 March 2016 , there are 105 Superfund sites listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Thirty-six additional sites have been cleaned up and deleted from the list." New Jersey is a major site for chemical companies  and refineries.

I was working at NYU Medical Center during this time and we experienced  almost weekly patients (children) from the Toms River area with brain tumors. My husband eventually died from a glioblastoma. My son's father-in-law also died from a glioblastoma.

The known and unknown contaminants in our environment affect us all - it is life or death. As medical librarians this topic should be of historical and contemporary interest to all of us. The causes of contamination are greed, carelessness, deception and lack of oversight by our government.

I am sure we have many more stories to tell.



Patricia Reynolds
Director, Bishopric Medical Library
Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Sarasota, FL 34239
941-917-1730
941-917-1646 - fax
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