Former Love Canal Students Getting Sick

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM EDT

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y (WKBW) Thirty-five years ago, the nation was focused on the environmental disaster taking place in the Love Canal neighborhood.

Built on top of a former chemical dump, residents complained to elected officials that leaking chemicals were making them ill and causing birth defects.

President Jimmy Carter declared the area a Federal Health Emergency in 1978.

The Love Canal area was contained, homes demolished, and over 800 families relocated.

Two schools located in the Love Canal area, the 93rd Street School and the 99th Street School, were closed and eventually demolished.

Now, nearly four decades later, former students say chemical exposure during their elementary school years is causing them to have chronic illnesses.

Laura Racine attended the 93rd Street school and dealt with a variety of debilitating illnesses including a thyroid disorder.

After attending a recent school reunion, she discovered that many for her classmates from the 93rd Street school were also very sick.

Racine is now trying to find out how many other individuals have become sick because of their enrollment in the school.

A Facebook page called "Love Canal Made Me Sick" is hoping to collect information that might be used during a possible lawsuit.