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
Date Written: 1996
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.
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