(AmericanProsperity.com) – A train derailment in Ohio on February 3 may have caused a greater hazard to the surrounding area than previously thought. The incident, which led to the evacuation of 1,500 to 2,000 residents, has led to growing health concerns following news that the cars contained previously unreported toxic chemicals. The EPA is currently helping with monitoring efforts, although some people in the area might already have suffered dangerous exposure.
EPA’s top priority is the health and safety of all communities. Since the initial train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, we have had 6 staff and 16 contractors on the ground to assist with air monitoring actions.
— EPA Great Lakes (@EPAGreatLakes) February 14, 2023
Local news source, WKBN 27, reported a resident’s chickens all died following a controlled burn of the derailed train cars’ contents. The animals’ owner, Amanda Breshears, told the outlet the strong smell of chlorine in the air made her eyes water.
Given the list of chemicals the EPA has detected from the spill so far, authorities admit Breshears’ claims seem plausible. Officials now know the trains were transporting numerous toxic substances. Some of the most concerning could have lasting effects.
- Polyethylene is the most common component in manufacturing plastics. Research has shown the chemical might cause organ damage, cell death, genotoxicity, and death in animals.
- Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is frequently used in making plastic pipes and similar materials. It often contains phthalates, lead, and cadmium, which can leach from the material. Researchers have linked PVC to liver problems, birth defects, testicular cancer in males, and early puberty in females.
- Vinyl chloride is another component used in making PVC. Research has shown it can cause numerous forms of cancer affecting the liver, brain, and lungs. Investigators have also linked vinyl chloride exposure to an increased incidence of lymphoma and leukemia.
- Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, a powerful solvent, irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Exposure can affect the central nervous system, blood, kidneys, and liver.
Officials allowed evacuated residents to return to their homes on February 8 after water and air samples returned to safe levels. The EPA has asked anyone experiencing unexpected health issues to call their doctors. Federal investigators are looking deeper into the incident. Meanwhile, locals have filed a lawsuit against the company that owns the train, Norfolk Southern, to compel it to pay for residents’ medical screenings.
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