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Preface: How The Manual Was Developed

In 1998, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) requested the Institute of Public Health (IPH) at Florida A&M University to provide technical services in the design of a curriculum for communities. Initially, IPH received $24,999 to (1) gather necessary background data on the community's understanding of hazardous waste, and (2) develop a community-based toxicology curriculum for meeting identified community needs. It was later determined that the actual curriculum development could not be conducted under this contract, so activities were limited to gathering background data and identifying community needs. In 1999, IPH was awarded a second contract for $99,987 to develop the toxicology curriculum for the community.

ATSDR also requested involvement by community leaders in developing the curriculum, as that would lead to greater community commitment, and would provide greater insight into gaps in toxicology knowledge. According to ATSDR, the results from this project will be utilized to evaluate the feasibility of increasing community involvement in ATSDR's program development.

The community partners felt that this curriculum could also be used in a "Train the Trainer" format, so that community members could provide regular training and education sessions to residents on numerous issues in toxicology.

The following communities were identified for this project: (1) the Woolfolk community in Fort Valley, Georgia, and (2) the Savannah community in Savannah, Georgia. ATSDR also identified community partners for this project: (1) Mr. Marvin Crafter of the Woolfolk Citizens Response Group (WCRG) in Fort Valley, Georgia, and (2) Dr. Mildred McClain of the Citizens for Environmental Justice (CEJ) in Savannah, Georgia.

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