Degree Granting Department
Phillip Reeder, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Strom, Ph.D.
Graham Tobin, Ph.D.
biologic, edaphologic, geographic, geomorphic, pedogenic
This thesis was completed in order to assess and document the environmental effects that
are the result of elemental phosphorus production in Pinellas County Florida. The study
utilized a collection of information resources that included: personal interviews, technical
references, historical documents, legal documents and field observations. By utilizing
five different sources of information a broad understanding of the problem was
Pinellas County and Tarpon Springs officials were interested in creating a more
diversified economy in the years following World War-II. The Victor Chemical Works
Company responded to the interest in economic diversity by proposing to build an
elemental phosphorus production facility in the area of greater Tarpon Springs, Florida.
The elemental phosphorus production facility was completed and began operation in
November of 1947. Three months after the facility commenced production local
residents noticed damage to trees and painted surfaces on private properties. Seven
months following commencement of elemental phosphorus production local residents
filed suit against the Victor Chemical Works Company due to deleterious gasses
and dust that appeared to be damaging to biologic health. The elemental phosphorus
production facility operated from 1947 to 1981.
The 34-year operational period exposed workers, residents and biologic communities to
extended periods of elevated sulfur dioxide, phosphorus pentoxide gas, phosphine gas,
fluorine, lead, radium-226 and asbestos.
Utilizing personal interviews, technical document review, legal document review
and field observations the thesis provided an amalgamation of diverse information upon
which the conclusions were based. The research concludes that the production of
elemental phosphorus exposed all physical and cultural environments of northwest
Pinellas County to many complex adverse environmental impacts that continue to persist
in 2007, approximately 26-years following the suspension of production.
Scholar Commons Citation
Robinson, Stephen D., "The Historical Production of Elemental Phosphorus in Pinellas County, Florida: An Environmental Assessment" (2007). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.