Ohio Train Derailment Challenges Public Health


Samantha Rodriguez, Staff Writer

A toxic cloud hit East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb 3. A train derailment released highly toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and caused the residents to evacuate and threatened public health. 

Roughly about 20 of the 212 train cars derailed at 4:45 p.m. in Springfield Township. Clark County officials stated a great deal of the cars carried diesel exhaust fluid and polyacrylamide water solution. The officials further noted, “the derailment did not occur in an area with a protected water source, which means that ‘there is no risk to the public water system or private wells at the time”. The residents disagreed with the allegations. 

Residents were left uncertain and fearful about their town’s potential harm. A BBC reporter stated, “Thousands of dead fish have appeared in the creeks in the town, while people told local media that their chickens had died suddenly, and their pets had fallen ill.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) argued that it did not detect harmful contaminant levels in homes. An EPA spokesman commented on a water sample result, with “show no water quality concerns” although the residents might still smell the order. 

The community’s concern for their people’s well-being demanded the state open health clinics, after the increased number of rashes, nausea, and loss of breath, reported by the residents. For further more questions, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health will be present in Ohio, to help evaluate any remaining dangers. The EPA warns Texas and Michigan that Ohio’s waste will be disposed of in their states. In the meantime. Officials say they are searching for nearer disposal sites within the eastern side of Ohio and the western side of Indiana. Noah Sacha, a professor of environmental law at the University of Richardond, stated, “They’ll be living with this both environmentally and psychologically for a long time. And I do not see any really quick return to normal”. Cleaning the leaked chemicals will take time and money to do.

 The East Palestine train derailment has affected its residents and threatened public health.