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The Emotional Distress of Environmental Sickness

The Emotional Distress of Environmental Sickness - The...

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The Emotional Distress of Environmental-Borne Sickness As Seem in “A Civil Action” (1998) and “Erin Brockovich” (2000) December 14, 2007 By: Samuel A. Cordeiro Instructors: William L. Dills, Jr., Ph.D & Meltem Cevick Arikan, Ph.D Course: CHM 130-03
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Cordeiro 2 There are towns all over the world that are experiencing tragedies or pains, both physical and emotional, due to environmental borne diseases. In some cases, its polluted drinking water, in other cases, its polluted air or polluted land. Regardless of the case, disease is found and distress is found. In both A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich, citizens from their respected town have died, acquired a disease, or are in emotional distress because of the affects of their polluted environment. A Civil Action is a film based on the true story of a group of families in a small town just north of Boston who sued major US companies in the early 1980s for leukemia deaths and other health problems caused by the dumping of poisonous chemicals that seeped into their community's water supply. At first, Jan Schlichtmann, a tenacious lawyer, is addressed by these families to help them find a cause. When investigating the seemingly non-profiting case, he finds it to be a major environmental issue that has a lot of impact potential. Schlichtmann agrees to represent eight families whose children died from leukemia after two large corporations leaked toxic chemicals into the water supply of Woburn, Massachusetts. Schlichtmann and his three colleagues set out to have the companies forced to decontaminate the affected areas, and of course to sue for a major sum of compensation. A report completed by Kate Randall, a reporter for the World Socialist reports that twelve children contracted leukemia in Woburn, Massachusetts, a town of 36,000 from the late 1960s to the early '80s. Of these, eight lived within a half-mile radius of each other and six lived in one east Woburn neighborhood of just 200 families. Cancer deaths in town during the mid-1970s increased by 17 percent. A new water well had been opened in 1964 near an industrial park.
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