CNN reports the EPA disclosed, citing research conducted by scientists at Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon University, that nine of the numerous chemicals being examined by the agency in East Palestine, Ohio are higher than normal and, if they remain high, could pose long-term health risks to exposed town residents.
However, Dr. Ivan Rusyn, director of the Texas A&M University Superfund Research Center who assisted with the testing, told CNN that the EPA and local officials need to do a better job of advising residents of the risks. Rustyn acknowledged that all sides in this incident are correct and no one is lying to East Palestinians. CNN also says EPA officials have tested the air in nearly 600 East Palestine homes had not turned up anything unusual and air quality in the region is safe.
The concerns and skepticism expressed by East Palestine residents are valid and no doubt the EPA is trying its best to not only reassure East Palestine citizens, but also ensure their safety as well. But Biden and Buttigieg’s reactions making the debacle into a political issue were not helpful and obviously made things worse.
Unfortunately, the EPA’s efforts to try to contain or dispose of the toxic waste in East Palestine are a double edged sword too. The EPA chose Houston as one of the places where East Palestine toxic waste would be dumped only to pull back resulting from backlash. Even healthcare workers reveal to media outlets that people from East Palestine are disclosing sicknesses, such as chemical bronchitis.
PHOTO CREDIT: Smoke from the accident, February 3rd – By thunderlips36, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128970663