A train that contains toxic chemicals derails in southern Ohio

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

Katie Reinard

   On Feb. 3, a train that contained toxic gasses derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.   

   The train was made up of 50 cars, all of which contained these gasses, but only five of them leaked. According to AP News, the substance was Vinyl Chloride; a gas that is used to make the hard plastic resin in plastic products. It is most commonly used in PVC pipe, a pipe used for plumbing. The chemical is considered dangerous and is historically known to cause liver cancer. 

   According to AP News, Ruth Lunn, who works at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, says that a study was conducted on PVC pipe makers. 

   “If you worked longer, you had a higher risk, and if your exposure levels were high, you had a higher risk,” Lunn said.

   When the gas burns, an odorless fume, Phosgene, gets released into the air. Phosgene is highly toxic and causes vomiting and breathing trouble. However, according to AP News, Neil Donahue, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, worries that the fumes might also release dioxins into the air.

   “Vinyl chloride is bad, dioxins are worse as carcinogens and that comes from burning,” Donahue said.

   According to CNN, because of all of these toxic gasses, residents of the nearby neighborhoods were asked to evacuate their homes as a safety precaution. 

   An operation to drain the toxic chemical began at 4:30 pm on Feb. 6.