The Hagersville Tire Fire: Interpreting Risk Through a Qualitative Research Design
Qualitative Health Research
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Outlines a research design used to study the effects of the Hagersville, Canada tire fire on the surrounding community. This qualitative study used 11 open-ended interviews with Hagersville residents. Given the nature of the situation, this approach was used instead of a large-scale research instrument. Individuals and families in the community were anxious about their health due to the possibility of air, water, and soil contamination. Residents were forced to make life-style decisions based on perceptions of risk that were influenced by shared sociocultural conditions. A systematic approach for coming to terms with the way that individuals and families interpret and cope with risk is described. The study disclosed a variety of concerns in the community: avoidance, wait and see, livelihood vs health, frustration with others, and inconvenience. Risk was a factor in the 1st 3 concerns.