Lake Effect: Two Sisters and a Town's Toxic Legacy

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Island Press, Mar 18, 2010 - Health & Fitness - 208 pages
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On her deathbed, Sue asked her sister for one thing: to write about the connection between the industrial pollution in their hometown and the rare cancer that was killing her. Fulfilling that promise has been Nancy Nichols’ mission for more than a decade.

Lake Effect is the story of her investigation. It reaches back to their childhood in Waukegan, Illinois, an industrial town on Lake Michigan once known for good factory jobs and great fishing. Now Waukegan is famous for its Superfund sites: as one resident put it, asbestos to the north, PCBs to the south.

Drawing on her experience as a journalist, Nichols interviewed dozens of scientists, doctors, and environmentalists to determine if these pollutants could have played a role in her sister’s death. While researching Sue’s cancer, she discovered her own: a vicious though treatable form of pancreatic cancer. Doctors and even family urged her to forget causes and concentrate on cures, but Nichols knew that it was relentless questioning that had led to her diagnosis. And that it is questioning—by government as well as individuals—that could save other lives.

Lake Effect challenges us to ask why. It is the fulfillment of a sister’s promise. And it is a call to stop the pollution that is endangering the health of all our families.
 

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User Review  - ristaureads - LibraryThing

Lake Effect by Nancy Nichols was an intersting look at how the environment plays a role in our health. Nichols and her sister grew up on Lake Waukegan where there were numerous factories. While she ... Read full review

Lake Effect: Two Sisters and a Town's Toxic Legacy

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1992, Nichols' beloved elder sister was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. On her deathbed, she makes Nichols, already a journalist, promise to write about her illness and what the two ... Read full review

Contents

The UsedCar Salesmans Daughters
1
Green Town
11
Coho Capital of the World
19
The False Center of the Collage
27
Lake Michigan Legacy
35
A Marked Woman
53
Miasma
63
Hitchhiking Hormones
73
Destiny
99
Why Ask Why?
111
Proof
123
Epilogue
135
Acknowledgments
141
Notes
145
Selected Bibliography
163
Index
171

Me Too
85

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About the author (2010)

Nancy A. Nichols is a journalist, editor, and broadcaster whose writing has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Book Review, The Harvard Business Review, and The Nation, among other publications.

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