SOCI348_Assignment1.docx - Health and the...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

Health and the Environment (SOCI348) - Assignment 1 Compare the routine release of toxins in Sydney and Woburn, the way the communities organized to have their environmental concerns addressed, how scientists worked with them (or did not), and how the government responded. Even though the environmental disasters of Sydney, Nova Scotia and Woburn, Massachusetts were in different countries and hundreds of miles away from each other, they had a lot in common. Sydney, contaminated by a factory producing steel around the clock and contaminating the air and land with its toxic by-products and Woburn, a community whose drinking water and land was contaminated by multiple plants whose improper disposal of chemical waste leached carcinogens into their wells were both communities whose towns people were brave enough to take on the task of fighting for a safe place to live. The steel plant in Sydney was using sub-par quality products to make the steel, which led to more toxic by-products that needed to be disposed of. The coke ovens spewed pollutants and gases into the air which travelled into the homes in the neighbouring communities. In Woburn, the tanneries used toxic compounds to cure the leather and they, along with other factories sent toxic chemicals down the local river, which ultimately seeped into the ground and made its way into the local water wells. Lay people within both communities trusted their instincts when they noticed their children, family and neighbours becoming ill with high rates of cancer and made the correlation to the due to the environmental causes. Both communities were lower socio-economic status, with many families gainfully employed and relying on the very corporations who were making their families sick. There was, however, a divide amongst the community members. Those who saw the danger in the evidence and the importance of taking a stand, and those who either didn’t believe there was any truth to it, or those who believed the data but remained silent for fear of retaliation. Both communities found support in the legal world willing to help fight for their cause, but the battle against the corporations, government and science was an extremely difficult one. The idea of a relationship between environment and human health was relatively new, and there continues to be no hard scientific data to support the notion that, without a doubt, toxic chemicals X cause Y health effects in the people. Because of this, the corporations

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture