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Toxicity and Resistance

Emmerich, Elaine

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/11/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

In a political moment that tends to inspire overwhelming anger, apprehension and fear rather than hope or energy, I suggest that we look towards those who have made resistance a daily part of their lives out of necessity and determination.



As is often the case in situations of environmental or medical injustice, a group of women have taken it upon themselves to fight for their own and their children's health. Just Moms STL, a nonprofit organization comprised of local mothers concerned about the West Lake Landfill, is led by long-time residents and full-time moms Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman.

Both the imminent health risks of the noxious fumes and the dangerous possibility of a fire meeting nuclear waste in a residential community prompted the formation of the group in 2013, and as the problems persevere, so do Dawn and Karen.

They have held open community meetings on the third Thursday of each month for the past three years, relying on donated space from community centers or churches as the Moms field questions from frightened residents about evacuation routes, radioactive decay products and agency jurisdiction.

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