Disaster Resilience in Graniteville, South Carolina
The Graniteville Recovery and Chlorine and Epidemiology Study also known as the GRACE Study Center was established with the vision of developing a healthy Graniteville community sufficiently recovered from the chlorine spill disaster. On January 6, 2005, a train derailed in Graniteville, South Carolina, causing a major chlorine gas spill. The residents of Graniteville were left to suffer great emotional, physical and economic loss. Nine people lost their lives as a result of the derailment, and hundreds of people visited hospital local emergency rooms with complaints of symptoms related to the crash. More than fifty people were admitted to hospitals and many still suffer from the consequences of chlorine exposure. GRACE is exploring the long-term respiratory effects of human exposure to chlorine gas. General health screenings and simple lung function tests were provided through the center. In order to achieve its scientific goal, GRACE also measured the lung function among the Avondale millworkers to determine the long term effects of chlorine on lungs. Dr. Wilson assisted with community engagement efforts including working with the GRACE Community Advisory Board (CAB).