There were more toxic chemicals on the train that derailed in Ohio than first reported, according to new data from ABC News.
State health officials were initially concerned about the presence of vinyl chloride, a highly volatile colorless gas produced for commercial use, that leaked after about 50 cars on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3 as it traveled from Illinois in Pennsylvania. Other toxins, including phosgene and hydrogen chloride, were emitted in large clouds of smoke during a controlled release and burn, prompting authorities to issue mandatory evacuation orders within a mile of the crash site.
As the vehicle reports, a list of the cars involved in the derailment and the products they were carrying released by Norfolk Southern reveals several other toxic chemicals were released into the air and ground after the accident.
Among the substances were ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene were also in the derailed cars, the list shows.
Contact with ethylhexyl acrylate, a carcinogen, can burn and irritate the skin and eyes, and breathing it in can irritate the nose and throat, causing shortness of breath and coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Inhalation of isobutylene can also cause dizziness and drowsiness, while exposure to ethylene glycol monobutyl ether can cause eye, skin, nose, and throat irritation, as well as hematuria or blood in the urine, nervous system depression, headache, and vomiting. the CDC.
Toxins burned into the debris could be deadly if authorities don’t order an evacuation of the area, experts told ABC News last week. But once the controlled burn was complete, the only risk they would come into contact with the toxins was if they were embedded in the soil, which had to be dug up, said Kevin Crist, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Ohio State University. The Air Quality Center told ABC News last week.
The evacuation orders for residents in eastern Palestine came on Wednesday after air and water samples taken in the area were found to be safe.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said late Monday that it has yet to detect worrisome levels of air quality toxins that could be attributed to the accident since the controlled burn was completed. There are six EPA employees and 16 contractors on the ground to assist with air monitoring activities, according to the agency .
“Residents are still smelling the area,” the EPA said, recommending that those experiencing symptoms call their doctor.
The EPA also tested 291 homes near the crash site and found no levels of vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride, the agency said. As of Monday, 181 homes had yet to be inspected.
Local schools and the library were checked Sunday, according to the agency.
A lawsuit filed by two East Palestine residents on Feb. 9 demanded the rail operator pay for medical tests and related care for anyone living within a 30-mile radius of the crash site, as well as unspecified damages, the Associated Press reported.
Some of the toxins spilled into the Ohio River near northern West Virginia, prompting officials to shut down water production in the area and divert it to an alternate water source, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told reporters during a news conference on February 8.
While Justice stressed that “everything is fine here” due to prompt action by agencies such as the state Department of Environmental Protection and the National Guard, West Virginia American Water continues to improve its water treatment process as a precaution, according to the AP.
The water company installed a secondary inlet on the Guyandotte River in case it needs to turn to an alternate water source, the AP reported.
A town hall is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. to allow residents to ask questions about the effects of the derailment, East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway announced in a news release Sunday.