More Toxic Chemicals Discovered On Derailed Ohio Train Than Initially Reported

New data reveals the derailed train carrying toxic chemicals along the Ohio-Pennsylvania line was holding more than first reported.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The train that derailed in a fiery crash near a small town in Ohio was carrying more toxic chemicals than initially reported, new data shows.
  • After a “broken axle” caused nearly 50 cars on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train to derail earlier this month, state health officials were initially concerned about vinyl chloride, a highly toxic gas, polluting the air.
  • Another substance reportedly released is phosgene, a gas used as a chemical weapon on battlefields.
  • New reports released Monday reveal even more toxic chemicals were involved in the crash, including ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, and ethylhexyl acrylate.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ethylhexyl acrylate can cause a number of serious issues, including shortness of breath and coughing.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed earlier this week that it has not found a “concerning level” of toxins in the air, although there are six EPA staffers on the ground monitoring air quality after a controlled burn of the area.
  • While the government has assured the air is “safe,” residents near the area have reported animals and livestock sick or dying following the incident.
  • “My video camera footage shows my chickens were perfectly fine before they started this burn, and as soon as they started the burn, my chickens slowed down and they died,” one resident told a local television station.
  • A federal lawsuit has been filed to begin health testing for residents living near the site.
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST ERIN BROCKOVICH ON THE TRAIN DERAILMENT:

“This is why people don’t trust government. You cannot tell people that there has been and continues to be hazardous pollutants contaminating the environment while at the same time saying ‘all is well,'” BROCKOVICH SAID.

BACKGROUND:
  • Republican Ohio Senator J.D. Vance demanded answers this week over the environmental hazards induced by the train derailment.
  • “While those plumes of smoke are now gone, many questions remain,” Vance said. “We continue to monitor environmental reports from multiple agencies about the quality of the air and water in the region. I have heard alarming anecdotes about contaminated waterways and effects on wildlife.”
  • The Ohio senator claimed his office will investigate reports from nearby residents regarding the health impacts of the fiery explosion.
  • “Local officials have also consistently encouraged me to ensure appropriate environmental testing continues. I am focused on that as well. My office will continue to engage with people on the ground, and deal with issues as they arise,” he added.