Psychological and Social Impacts Associated with Contamination from the Woolfolk Chemical Works Plant in Fort Valley, Georgia

Posted: 14 Apr 2010 Last revised: 3 May 2010

See all articles by Paul Slovic

Paul Slovic

Decision Research; University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Theresa A. Satterfield

Decision Research

C. K. Mertz

Decision Research

James H Flynn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

In February of 1996 a study of current and prior residents of the neighborhood adjacent to the Woolfolk Chemical Works Plant (a.k.a. Canadyne, a.k.a. SureCo, a.k.a. the Dust House) in Fort Valley, Georgia was commissioned to assess psychological and social impacts stemming from the above-named chemical plant. All aspects of the study were informed by the collective expertise of the study team and by extant peer-reviewed literature, on the human of experience of contamination (e.g., Edelstein, 1988; Kraus, Malmfors, & Slovic, 1992; Slovic, 1987).

In conclusion, the respondents indicated a deep and comprehensive experience of fear, dread, distress and the disruption of home and neighborhood. Most are clearly torn between a lifetime's knowledge of a rooted, convenient, and close-knit community, and the burden of feeling haunted, unsafe, and trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Importantly, respondents also made clear and sensible distinctions regarding impacts; theirs is not a blanket condemnation despite the overwhelming portrait of horror that resonates throughout the survey.

Suggested Citation

Slovic, Paul and Satterfield, Theresa A. and Mertz, C. K. and Flynn, James H, Psychological and Social Impacts Associated with Contamination from the Woolfolk Chemical Works Plant in Fort Valley, Georgia (1996). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1589801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1589801

Paul Slovic (Contact Author)

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)
541-485-2403 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.decisionresearch.org

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)

Theresa A. Satterfield

Decision Research

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States

C. K. Mertz

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States

James H Flynn

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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