EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — First News was recently informed of three more chemicals that were on the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine just over a week ago — and we are being told that those chemicals are dangerous.
“We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open,” said Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to Norfolk Southern stating that ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene were also in the rail cars that were derailed, breached and/or on fire.
Caggiano says ethylhexyl acrylate is especially worrisome. He says it’s a carcinogen and contact with it can cause burning and irritation in the skin and eyes. Breathing it in can irritate the nose and throat and cause coughing and shortness of breath.
Isobutylene is also known to cause dizziness and drowsiness when inhaled.
“I was surprised when they quickly told the people they can go back home, but then said if they feel like they want their homes tested they can have them tested. I would’ve far rather they did all the testing,” Caggiano said.
Caggiano says it’s possible some of these chemicals could still be present in homes and on objects until you clean them thoroughly.
“There’s a lot of what ifs, and we’re going to be looking at this thing 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the line and wondering, ‘Gee, cancer clusters could pop up, you know, well water could go bad,” Caggiano said.
Caggiano recommends anyone in the East Palestine area should get a health check-up. Get it on record where your health stands now so that moving forward you’ll have documented any effects possibly related to the train derailment.