On Friday, a group of researchers from Texas A&M University Carnegie Mellon announced that they have detected that several chemicals carried aboard the Norfolk Southern train that derailed on February 3rd are at a higher-than-normal level in the small town of East Palestine, Ohio.
According to the researchers, nine of the 50 chemicals carried aboard the train are at levels that could bring health consequences to residents. They noted in particular the chemical Acrolein
According to the CDC, Acrolein “is highly toxic via all routes and is severely irritating to the eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory tract, and skin. Acrolein is highly flammable, can form explosive mixtures with air, and burns to produce irritating, corrosive, and/or toxic gases.”
Other chemicals that are at higher than normal rates include Trichloroethane, Butadiene, Naphthalene, Trichloroethylene, and Vinyl Chloride.
While the researchers found that these chemicals are at higher than normal levels, they noted that Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes, which are typical of the petroleum industry and are known carcinogens, are at “normal” levels.
The researchers noted that they are continuing to conduct tests and monitor the air for other chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not monitoring as well as locations where the EPA has failed to monitor, as reported by the Daily Wire.
According to the EPA, they “deployed mobile detection equipment and stationary equipment to conduct air monitoring in the East Palestine community. U.S. EPA collected field measurements for lower explosive limits (LEL), total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide, benzene, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, phosgene, and particulate matter. Air monitoring locations were selected: at the schools, residential areas, several government buildings, upwind of the derailment area, in the derailment area, and downwind of the derailment area as well as mobile teams to collect general readings throughout the community.”
“U.S. EPA is collecting outdoor air samples for VOCs (target contaminates of concern list and tentatively identified compounds), including vinyl chloride, n-butyl acrylate, and ethyhexyl acrylate,” the agency continued. “Air sampling locations were selected upwind of the train derailment area, work area, and downwind areas.”
Update (1/3) on @CAPS_CMU and @TAMUSuperfund partnership for air quality in East Palestine, OH. EPA’s air data for BTEX are compared to measurements by @TAMUSuperfund in NC in 2018-19 – good news is that BTEX levels appear “normal” (including Benzene, a known carcinogen). pic.twitter.com/2ZlLC0rJJk
— Texas A&M Superfund Research Center (@tamusuperfund) February 24, 2023
NEW REPORT SHOWS SHOCKING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF EAST PALESTINE CHEMICAL CATASTROPHE
As residents continue to see the impact of contaminated water and air on their local environment, the federal government is still saying that it is safe to stay in their community despite the findings of the A&M researchers and a recent report by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that found that tens of thousands of animals have died as a result of the chemical burn off, as previously reported by the DC Enquirer.
According to the report, the number of wildlife killed by the release of chemicals is over 43,000.
“The final sample count of aquatic species killed in waterways impacted in the area totaled 2,938. Of this collected sample, most – nearly 2,200 – were small minnows,” the report provided by Director Mary Mertz began.
“Based on this sample count, ODNR used a calculation endorsed by the American Fisheries Society to estimate the total number of minnows killed in the entire 5-mile span of the waterway from the derailment site to the point where Bull Creek flows into the north fork of Little Beaver Creek,” it continued. “Of the estimate, 38,222 were minnows, ranging in size between 1 and 3 inches.”
“ODNR also estimated the total number of other aquatic life killed as a result of the derailment, including small fish, crayfish, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources explained. “This number is approximately 5,500.”
According to the ODNR, none of the species that were impacted were endangered and the impact occurred within the first 24 hours following the train derailment and subsequent burning of chemicals in the first week of February.
Back when the ODRN first collected samples of local waterways, they estimated that only 3,500 aquatic animals had died as a result of the chemical contamination, as reported by Axios.
It is a tragedy what the residents of East Palestine have had to suffer through the last three weeks. Americans everywhere are praying for their safety and sending supplies to those in need.
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