Posted by: terrauniversity | October 1, 2012

The Tragedy of Mossville, LA

This past week, I attended a conference of environmental health and justice leaders from various states. Three of the people there were from the small town of Mossville, LA where there are 14 chemical factories. I had previously heard of “Cancer Alley,” but I have never met anyone from the area.

If you aren’t familiar with the community of Mossville, I will link some videos below.

African-American Community In Louisiana Fights For Health And Life

Toxic town’s advocate sees victory ahead

Breathing Poison: The Toxic Costs of Industries in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Environmental justice (also know as environmental racism and environmental disparity) is a tough subject to teach, but it must be taught. People in low-economic areas and people of color of disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals through cheap products, factories and dump-sites in their communities. We must teach about this to empower ALL people to stand up for their health and their lives. No community is completely isolated from another, so these toxins can and do travel.

I will post some links in the “For Educators” section that may help you develop lesson plans. However, I encourage you to seek out the stories of people in your areas that are affected by these toxins on a daily basis. A textbook and news article can only do so much to truly convey the message. Some people in these areas are even doing their own scientific research because people won’t come to help them. (I will write other posts on communities in Alaska and California). If you live in or near these areas, I encourage you to reach out and see how you can help. This is a tremendous intersection between teachable moments and making a positive difference.

For Educators:

The Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals

Mossville Environmental Action Now

Do You Live Near a Chemical Plant?

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