No matter where you are in the world, I’m sure you would have heard about the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, USA which happened over a month ago.
And if not, let me give you a short summary – a train derailed which was comprised of 150 rail cars owned by Norfolk Southern, some of which contained highly hazardous and toxic materials. Apparently 10 of them were carrying toxic vinyl chloride which is a known carcinogenic compound used to make PVC plastic. Due to the rising temperatures and fear of an explosion, it has been said that engineers decided the safest course of action was to do a control burn and release of the vinyl chloride while evacuating the area.
To be entirely transparent, the exact number of derailed cars, toxins present or general facts are far and few between. Each news report, article or personal story varies in its information. Which is not surprising.
An analysis of data from the EPA revealed a substantial rise in nine of the dozens of chemicals in the air that this agency has been monitoring following this tragic event. If the levels of these chemicals remain high, it can result in long-term health issues for the residents – both near and far.
Although the extent of toxic exposure and long-term impacts won’t be known for a long time, we know that harm has certainly already occurred.
Accidents such as the Ohio train derailment are happening more often than you think. Data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by non-profit groups that track chemical accidents in the US shows that accidental releases of toxic materials are happening consistently around the US. Accidents can be via train derailments, truck crashes, industrial spills or plant leaks, pipeline ruptures etc.
The Coalition To Prevent Chemical Disasters has an active map recording all the “incidences” throughout the US. On their website, they state “On average, there is a chemical fire, explosion or toxic release every two days in the U.S.” as well as stating that “almost 124 million people (39% of the U.S. population) live within 3 miles of a hazardous facility”.
Although we cannot confirm the credibility of information or whether all of these “reported” incidents are accurate. The Coalition To Prevent Chemical Disasters has recorded over 40 events since January 2023.
No wonder no one answers my emails. That was a great article and it probably took a lot of time to do it. Thanks, Duane