Quoted from yaksplat:
Sounds like you're describing tonawada or south buffalo. I was working at praxair for a bit. The guys i was working with told me how one day their building was relocated and the company had removed 6' of soil around all of the nearby buildings due to radioactivity. Who knows how much they had been exposed to while working in the basement.
Yes I was referring to Tonawanda. The Praxair building complex you mentioned was the home of the Manhattan project.
Cancer rates in this area are much higher than other parts of New York state and the nation as a whole.
It truly was a mess when I was a kid.