CLEVELAND — The wreckage in East Palestine is still a hot spot for questions and rebuilding more than three weeks since the toxic derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train.
While residents still continue to raise concerns about toxins in the soil and the water, chemicals are fuming in the places we can’t see: the air.
SUBMIT A TIP: Is there an issue in your community that you feel we need to be aware of? Share it with our 3Investigates team by emailing email@example.com.
A report released Friday by the Texas A&M Superfund Research Center indicates that continued levels of chemical pollutants for long periods of time could pose long-term health effects.
“What we wanted to offer was to provide this sort of translational bridge between lots of scientific data versus trying to communicate that in a way that the general public can understand,” said Weihsueh Chiu, deputy director of the research center.
The center decided to do their own sampling, working in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“We noticed that there wasn't a lot of contextualization of the actual numbers that the EPA had been releasing,” Chiu said.
At a press conference again Monday, federal officials confirmed air pollution levels remain low risk and that air quality remains “normal”.
However, Chiu said it’s the long-term effects of pollution that could be serious.
“We took those air me air measurements and compared to what the EPA considers to be a safe level for lifetime exposure,” Chiu said. “We found that particularly for acrolein, that some of the measurements were above what was, would be considered safe if it were to continue into the future.”
According to Chiu, acrolein, which is a hazardous material found in smoke, affects the respiratory tracts and nasal passages.
On Monday, federal officials announced two new locations will start accepting hazardous material shipments from the crash site, including Grafton, Ohio, and Roachdale, Indiana.
Shipments will begin transportation tomorrow, officials said.
Vickery and East Liverpool began receiving shipments of material Monday morning.
This comes after the EPA halted shipments to Texas and Michigan Sunday after complaints from officials in both states.
Chu said what’s critical to prevention now is proper clean up and testing.
“If there's, you know, some soil or some water that was contaminated then that could be a source of continuing emission into the air,” Chiu said. “And so that's what would need to be investigated if there are some of these hotspots”
3News reached out for an updated response from Governor Mike DeWine regarding this study but has not yet heard back. The governor was asked about it during an interview with 3News' Russ Mitchell last week.
At 3News, we are committed to sharing the stories that matter most to you. That means recognizing real problems and offering real solutions.
Is there an issue in your community that you feel we need to be aware of? Share it with our 3Investigates team via the form below.
We’ll work to find answers to your questions, verify the truth, help you make informed decisions because what’s important to you, matters to us.