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Int J Environ Health Res. 2017 Aug;27(4):276-292. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2017.1342226. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Assessment of an irritant gas plume model for epidemiologic study.

Author information

a Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences , Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine , New Orleans , LA , USA.
b Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics , Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine , New Orleans , LA , USA.
d Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics , University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health , Columbia , SC , USA.
c Department of Public Health Sciences , Medical University of South Carolina , Charleston , SC , USA.


Previously, we reported the development of a Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability plume dispersion model of the 2005 Graniteville, South Carolina, USA accidental release of chlorine. Here, we assess this model by spatial and statistical comparison with post-incident observed environmental indicators of exposure and other types of observations. Spatial agreement was found when the model was compared to phytotoxic bleaching and corrosion events observed in 2 km radius around the release site. When spatially compared to locations of injured or killed animals, model predictions of the plume footprint were in relatively good agreement. Model-predicted human casualties differed from observed casualty counts primarily due to the shielding effect of buildings. A statistical comparison of observed dog health outcome-derived exposure vs. model predicted exposure showed relatively good agreement, particularly when a subcohort of indoor dogs was excluded. Evaluation and assessment of the building infiltration effect would further improve the model prior to application in epidemiologic study.


Epidemiology; atmospheric; risk

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