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9 Appalachian Nat. Resources L.J. 93 (2014-2015)
Chemical Spills in Our Water Ways: An Urgent Need for Strict Regulations

handle is hein.journals/anrlj9 and id is 101 raw text is: 

                   FOR, STRICT REGULATIONS

                           Christian Nwaopara'

                           I. INTRODUCTION
     For centuries, industrialization became the beacon of hope for most
 nations seeking economic efficiency and growth. The industrial revolu-
 tion served Americans well, as it improved our economic lives. It was
 arguably the beginning of urbanization and modem day transportation and
 communication. However, there were some disadvantages. Cities became
 crowded, smoky, and susceptible to epidemics. Some of the threats
 became actualized as our environment became polluted with hazardous
 substances and our waterways contaminated by chemical spills. Chemical
 spillages became almost incessant as the chemical industries began building
 chemical plants in proximity to the lakes and rivers, which supplied drink-
 ing water to our cities. This trend created perilous public health concerns.
     The amount of chemicals that spill into our waterways directly corre-
lates with the amount of damage done to the environment. Inevitably,
environmental damage stresses public health. For example, if a chemical
spill seeps into an aquatic habitat, it may lead to increased mercury level in
fish and increased toxicity in our drinking water. Human consumption of
mercury-laden fish as a result of a chemical spill creates serious health dan-
gers, which includes carcinogenic effects. For instance, gastric cancer is
more often due to high concentrations of chemical contaminants in food
or water.'2 The health dangers are aggravated when seniors, infants, or
pregnant women ingest the water or seafood contaminated with hazardous
chemicals. As a result, the unborn face threats of numerous birth defects.
     Chemical spillages appear to be innate in American society. They
can almost be called an American tradition. For example, in 1978, a
Chessie System (Chessie) train derailed and spilled approximately 20,000
gallons of a chemical called epichlorohydrin into the well field in Point Pleas-
ant, West Virginia.3 A similar incident also occurred in West Virginia in
2014. Freedom Industries (Freedom), a chemical producer located adja-

   1. The author dedicates this article to the loving memory of his parents, Mr. Linus and
Mrs. Grace Nwaopara, the teachers who inspired and nurtured his intellectual curiosity and
taught him to be humble but confident.
   2. Kameswara Rao, Toxicity of Nitrates And Nitrites in Plants, FOUND. FOR
BIOTECHNOLOGY AWARENESS AND EDUC. (Jul. 13, 2007), www.fbae.org/2009/FBAE/
website/specialtopics-views toxicityof nitrates and nitrite.html.
   3. Jim Ross, 1988 Tank Collapse Led to Changes in Pa. Law, STATE JOURNAL, (Feb. 14,
2014, 1:40 PM), http://www.statejournal.com/story/24716788/1988-tank-collapse-led-

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