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Safety Report: Ohio Train Derailment and Toxic Chemical Leak, USA

1 year ago

Outbreak

United States

On February 3rd, over 50 train cars derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, causing a fire that spanned the length of the derailed cars. Over a dozen cars carried vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, which caused officials to evacuate residents within a one-mile radius of the derailment.

The following Monday, a mandatory evacuation was implemented as the threat of an explosion rose, which caused crews to release toxic chemicals from five derailed tanker cars to prevent an explosion.

The most concerning chemical being carried by the derailed train was vinyl chloride, which is used to make PVC, a hard resin used in plastic products. Local business owners and residents are suing Norfolk Southern for medical screenings for residents within a 30-mile radius of the derailment.

What are the possible health impacts?
Vinyl chloride can break down into hydrogen chloride and phosgene when burned, which can cause symptoms such as eye and throat irritation and difficulty breathing. Breathing high levels of vinyl chloride can cause dizziness, sleepiness, passing out, or death.

Exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride usually affects industrial workers, who are exposed to the chemical for a long period of time, and it has been associated with a rare form of liver cancer called hepatic angiosarcoma.

Burning of any material can create particle pollution, which can be harmful to health and has been linked to lung and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, lung cancer, and problems with babies at birth.

If you are experiencing health issues or observing environmental issues, or are affected in any way after this incident, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and determine the real scale of this situation and warn others. If the symptoms are severe or persistent, please seek medical attention.

#toxicspill #publicsafety #us

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