Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Human-Made Disasters: Toxic Waste and Residences

  • Ashley K. FarmerEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_105-2


The issue of toxic waste and residences includes incidents and policies related to the broader environmental justice and antitoxic movements in the United States, including “NIMBY” (Not In My Backyard), health effects, and considerations of environmental racism.


On the South Side of Chicago lies a federal housing project, originally created for African-American veterans. Nicknamed the “toxic doughnut,” it has the highest concentration of hazardous waste sites in the nation, being surrounded by 50 landfills and 382 industrial facilities, with 250 leaking storage tanks underground (Cosier 2017). Studies have revealed dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in the area, with the community having the highest cancer rates in the city (Cosier 2017; Taylor 2000; Wenzel 1998). Since industrialization began in modern America, we have seen issues of toxic waste and how it affects communities unfold repeatedly. With the inception of the antitoxic and environmental justice...


Toxic Waste Flint MI Love Canal Environmental Justice 
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Further Reading

  1. Benz, T. A. (2017). Toxic cities: Neoliberalism and environmental racism in Flint and Detroit Michigan. Critical Sociology.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920517708339.
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  3. Edelstein, M. R. (1988). Contaminated communities: The social and psychological impacts of residential toxic exposure. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA