The GRACE Study Center is established with the vision of developing a healthy Graniteville community sufficiently recovered from the chlorine spill disaster. This study is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH-NIEHS).
On January 6, 2005, the collision and derailment of two trains in Graniteville, SC resulted in the release of approximately 60 tons of chlorine gas into the surrounding community. This event significantly impacted residents, first responders and other members of the community and many still suffer the emotional, physical and economic consequences of exposure to chlorine gas. Nine individuals lost their lives, and nearly 1,400 sought treatment at local and regional medical centers. First used in World War I by German troops as a chemical warfare agent, chlorine (Cl) is now commonly used as an industrial and household chemical resulting in thousands of accidental exposures each year. Chlorine gas (Cl2) has the potential to harm the pulmonary system when inhaled and can lead to conditions such as asthma, lung scarring, irritation, and shortness of breath. Yet, little is known about the long-term pulmonary effects when individuals are exposed to a high level of exposure.
With this in mind, the GRACE Study Center will explore these consequences of exposure to chlorine through a community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodology. We look forward to working with the Graniteville community in answering these critical questions with widespread public health implications.
Updates & Upcoming Events:
May 2013 - We concluded a successful community event for our sister study: the RiSE project. Click here for media coverage.