(Natural News) Following the Ohio train derailment, Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator J.D. Vance wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its state counterpart to request more information about the potential spread of dioxin in East Palestine, Ohio.
According to data, the harmful compound can cause cancer.
In the letter, the two Ohio senators warned EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel that the combustion of vinyl chloride, one of the toxic chemicals that was released and burned after a train transporting it derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier in February, can result in the formation of dioxins.
Research suggests that dioxins are highly toxic compounds and are considered “persistent environmental pollutants.”
The senators quoted EPA information, writing that dioxins can interfere with hormones. The harmful chemicals were also linked to cancer and reproductive and developmental problems.
The findings also revealed that exposure to dioxins may harm the immune system.
Brown and Vance asked whether the agencies were testing for dioxins and seek more information about the federal and state protocol for handling mass dioxin exposure.
“Following our visits to East Palestine this past week where we heard directly from members of the community, we remain concerned that it does not appear that the U.S. EPA, OEPA or Norfolk Southern is texting for dioxins,” wrote Brown and Vance.
“We are concerned that the burning of large volumes of vinyl chloride may have resulted in the formation of dioxins that may have been dispersed throughout the East Palestine community and potentially a much larger area,” continued the letter. (Related: Cincinnati cuts off drinking water from Ohio River in the wake of train chemical spill.)
Ohio senators call for transparency to ensure public safety
The Ohio senators included six questions about the agencies’ current dioxin testing strategy that they wanted to be answered by Feb. 24.
Brown and Vance concluded the letter by demanding both agencies coordinate an immediate testing regimen to “ensure regular testing for dioxins in the region.”
They explained that strict monitoring must be part of a long-term strategy and that it should be enforced immediately and communicated to the local community for transparency.
Following the disastrous train derailment in the small eastern Ohio town, the train’s operator Norfolk Southern decided to release dioxin, along with other potentially harmful chemicals, to prevent a massive explosion.
While the town’s residents were asked to evacuate during the release of the chemical, they were told that it was safe to return to the area on Feb. 9.
Allegedly, the EPA, Ohio EPA and Norfolk Southern contractors have conducted several tests to assure residents that the air and water in the affected area are safe. Despite these tests, some locals expressed concerns that the catastrophic event could impact their long-term health.
Experts have also warned about the potential environmental damage from the chemical release.
Sil Caggiano, a local hazardous materials specialist, said that the incident was akin to a “nuclear winter.”
EPA orders Norfolk Southern to clean up affected areas
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the EPA ordered the train’s operator to oversee the cleanup in affected areas following the chemical spill. Railroad company Norfolk Southern was also ordered to cover all charges for the cleanup.
Amid growing fear and frustration among residents about safety and transparency, the EPA took the helm as the fallout from the Feb. 3 train disaster moves from emergency response to the clean-up phase.
The EPA required Norfolk Southern to reimburse the federal government to provide cleaning services for affected residents and businesses following the incident. Should Norfolk Southern fail to comply with the order to identify and clean up all the contaminated water and soil, the EPA will take over the work.
The agency will also seek triple damages from the multibillion-dollar company.
While no fatalities or injuries have been reported from the toxic spill, a free community health clinic has been opened to assist worried residents clamoring for definitive answers about short- and long-term health risks.
Aside from the cleanup, Norfolk Southern will also be responsible for out-of-pocket medical costs. The company must also reimburse fire services for equipment contaminated during the emergency response.
Last week Norfolk Southern earned the ire of residents when the company didn’t attend a town hall meeting. However, under the binding order, the company is now required to attend public meetings and post information online.
Visit Chemicals.news for more updates on the Ohio train derailment and chemical spill.
Watch the video below to learn more about the negative side effects linked to dioxins.
This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com.
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