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Caring for Earth
A Costly Oops!



A Costly Oops!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    isocyanate, methyl, coolant, unrefined, violation, drilling, greatly, prior, reactor, radioactivity, tremendous, cleanup, federal, gush, radiation, radioactive
     content words:    Niagara Falls, New York State, Love Canal, United States, Three Mile Island, On March, Union Carbide, On April, Soviet Union, Chernobyl Nuclear Power


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A Costly Oops!
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Every day in school your teachers probably tell you that it is okay to make mistakes because we are humans. Your teachers are correct; humans make mistakes. What if "human" mistakes turned into costly environmental accidents? Well, throughout Earth's recent history, there have been environmental accidents.
 
2     Imagine visiting Niagara Falls in New York State with your family in 1953. The air is clean, the water is beautiful, and the area is peaceful. After returning home, your parents decide that area would be a wonderful place to live. So they move to a small town near Niagara Falls called Love Canal in the late 1950's. Sadly, as the years move on, you notice disturbing changes in your town. You see, prior to 1950, chemical companies were allowed to dump their waste products legally into the canal. Once these companies burned their chemicals, they dumped what was left into the water at Love Canal. Your family and other families were not told about the dumping by the chemical companies.
 
3     As you and the other kids in town played outside, you noticed a foul smell. The trees in Love Canal began to lose their bark and lose their leaves throughout the year. By the 1970's, Love Canal had lost its beauty. This was when the scientists started to take notice. They found high levels of over 82 industrial chemicals. Scientists believed that seven of these chemicals could cause cancer.

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