Nothing to see here. That’s what the residents of East Palestine were told over and over again by their political leaders and the folks working for Norfolk Southern. It didn’t matter much how much the residents complained about being sick or pets dying after the train derailment that sent chemicals into the air, land and water after the company decided to burn toxic vinyl chloride so there wouldn’t be an explosion.
The media circus is over concerning the train derailment – off the front page of newspapers and the story is no longer appearing as “Breaking News” on Fox News or any other cable shows.
But we are learning that things aren’t over for the residents of East Palestine in their fight against the railroad company and the lingering health issues from the train derailment.
Some residents in the city have been found to have cancer-causing chemicals in their urine. This report comes out of The Daily Mail that says several residents got urinalysis tests that reveal at least trace amounts of vinyl chloride in their systems.
Although she avoided drinking the water from her private well, East Palestine resident Linda Murphy told WTAE-TV that she still has vinyl chloride in her system. She said, “I know there’s risks of liver cancers. I know there’s risks of brain cancers. I know there’s central nervous system disorders that come along with this.”
The EPA says that it’ll be another two or three months before the company is able to excavate tens of thousands of tons of contaminated soil. They are also removing toxic chemicals from two creeks that could take even longer than that.
Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw told an Ohio rail safety committee last week, “I pledge that we won’t be finished until we make it right.”
With toxic chemicals already showing up in people’s bodies, I think it’s probably a little too late for that.