(DailyDig.com) – After a train derailment in the Ohio city of East Palestine, the safety of the water supply for 30 million citizens along the Ohio River is in question. The poisonous chemicals were released into the air and river when the train derailed on February 3.
Vinyl chloride, a highly unstable colorless gas generated for commercial usage, leaked during the accident, and state health authorities were immediately alarmed. More harmful substances were found in the rail cars that the train was transporting than was first thought.
Hydrogen chloride, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, isobutylene, ethylhexyl acrylate, and phosgene were some of the substances discharged during the derailment and ensuing smoke from the deliberate burning. As a result, everyone within a mile of where the collision occurred was instructed to leave immediately.
Unless something was done, the authorities stated, there was a greater risk of an explosion, thus a burn was preferred.
On the front lines of WWI, phosgene gas was widely used as a chemical agent of war. Also, carcinogenic ethylhexyl acrylate causes severe skin and eye irritation upon contact.
Because of the chemical spill, the authorities had to evacuate almost 2,000 people. Since the controlled burn had concluded, the people evacuated had been permitted to return since the EPA had not found any unsafe amounts of chemicals in the air that could be related to the accident.
Amanda Breshears, a homeowner in North Lima, about ten miles away from the crash site, said that six of her poultry perished in the days after the blaze.
The sick animal complaint was not an isolated incident. Despite living outside of the evacuation zone, licensed fox keeper Taylor Holzer reported that all of his foxes were ill, and one of them had passed away. Activists are now demanding a wider, more public acknowledgement of the specific nature of the cargo in the polluted shipment after dead fish have been seen floating in nearby waterways.
To ensure that Norfolk Southern begins conducting health checks for people in the area, a federal lawsuit was filed. The dollar amount of damages claimed is not known.
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