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Laying Waste, by Michael H. Brown. New York: Washington Square Press/Pocket Books. $3.50.

With Love Canal as its focus this is a human-interest story. It offers disturbing medical estimates of the effects of toxic chemicals on humans, recounting the impact of poorly safeguarded waste disposal on individuals who live near dozens of dump sites across the country.

Among the most shocking episodes are those dealing with unethical operators who have entered the hazardous wastedisposal business for quick profit.

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Brown criticizes the political maneuvering by the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, Congress, and the chemical industry to dodge the costly cleanup effort needed to ensure community safety. For all the attention chemical waste has received since the Love Canal incident, Mr. Brown warns, "the hard decisions were still being made almost entirely in terms of both cents and magadollars, with hum an health a secondary consideration."

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