"Yesterday was the first day in probably three or four days that I could smell anything. I lost my smell and my sense of taste. I had an eye infection in both eyes. I was having respiratory issues like I was just out of breath. Other members of my family have had eye infections and strep throat," said Shelby Walker, who lives a few yards from the epicenter from the crash and explosion. "The cleanup crew drives past us at night and won’t even look at us. It’s like we don’t exist. No one has reached out to us or told us anything."
According to an independent analysis of EPA data by Texas A&M University released on Friday, nine air pollutants were found around East Palestine at levels that could raise long-term health concerns.
According to a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of residents, Norfolk Southern 'went rogue' when it made the decision three days after the derailment to blow up five train cars containing deadly vinyl chloride. Around 1.1 million pounds of the toxic compound were spilled and later burned, the suit claims.
Norfolk Southern, meanwhile, says they consulted with experts and Gov. Mike DeWine (R) before the controlled burn, which they say they did to avoid a potential 'catastrophic failure of the cars.'
Cozza’s hearing included a panel with scientists from the University of Pittsburgh, an environmental lawyer, and a veteran Ohio hazardous materials expert. None of them painted a rosy picture of the town’s future, despite Norfolk Southern’s insistence that the area is safe and will be cleaned up and tested more.
The experts listened as desperate residents asked about the safety of breastfeeding their babies and getting water from their wells. Planting season is coming soon in an area where many farm. One woman cried when she spoke about her worry over her pregnant goats. -NY Post
According to Harvard-trained toxicologist, Stephen Lester, the hot zone at East Palestine is one of the 'most concerning' he's ever seen - and warned that the chemical dioxin that was released during the controlled burn will be embedded in the soil and water.
"Until the government takes this seriously there are going to be real problems," said Lester. "It’s criminal that the EPA didn’t come forward with information about dioxin and start testing for it."
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