CDC Confirms Half Its Research Team Fell Ill Studying Ohio Derailment

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

When the Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, weeks ago, the 20 or so train cars carrying hazardous materials spilled contents into the environment. Toxic substances were released into the air and water. Subsequently, wildlife and citizens began experiencing health problems and even death.

Residents left their homes in fear, and after pressure, federal government officials finally arrived on the scene. The EPA initially stated that all was well and residents could return to their homes, which some did, but dead animals, water on fire, and illness had folks crying that all was not well.

Although former President Trump came to their aid with thousands of bottles of water, hundreds of gallons of cleaning supplies, and canned food, President Biden did not visit at the onset although residents were asking for help with possible long-term effects of the environmental disaster.

Now it seems federal officials who did visit the site and were there only temporarily are experiencing some illness. As Creative Destruction Media reports:

In a twist of irony, the CDC has confirmed that 7 members of a 15-person team from the CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) fell ill while investigating the potential health effects of the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio last month.

According to a March 31 statement provided to The Epoch Times, CDC spokesman Belsie Gonzalez indicated that the illnesses occurred on March 6, when members of the team reported symptoms including, a sore throat, nausea, coughing, and headache.

The team members’ symptoms were consistent with symptoms being reported by some East Palestine residents and first responders – the very people the CDC sent the team to survey and assess the potential health effects caused by their exposure to the toxic chemicals spilled during the February 3 train derailment and subsequent explosion.

“Following protocol, team members reported the symptoms to federal safety officers,” Gonzalez said.

“Symptoms resolved for most team members later the same afternoon, and everyone resumed work on survey data collection within 24 hours. Impacted team members have not reported ongoing health effects,” the statement continued.

Gonzalez also noted that the survey collection process, which began in mid-February, ended on March 31. “Once completed, CDC/ATSDR staff will analyze the data and provide it to state health officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania. FEMA and EPA teams remain on the ground to support response efforts,” Gonzalez concluded.

But it seems that the officials who were to analyze the data became guinea pigs themselves, according to the outlet.

It should be noted that the government team fell ill after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against train operator, Norfolk Southern, on March 31, in an effort to hold the railroad company accountable for “unlawfully polluting the nation’s waterways,” by means of the train derailment.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said via a statement, “When a Norfolk Southern train derailed last month in East Palestine, Ohio, it released toxins into the air, soil, and water, endangering the health and safety of people in surrounding communities.”

“With this complaint, the Justice Department and the EPA are acting to pursue justice for the residents of East Palestine and ensure that Norfolk Southern carries the financial burden for the harm it has caused and continues to inflict on the community,” the statement added.

It is interesting that the DOJ places blame for the derailment and following explosion and chemical spill squarely on the train operator’s shoulders, when government officials were the ones who decided to burn the toxic chemicals, rather than having them removed from the derailed cars. Furthermore, the government initially refused to deploy a FEMA team to the area stating that the spill did not meet FEMA requirements for assistance, and left Norfolk Southern to clean up the derailment before sending in the EPA to halt the cleanup, citing concerns about the facilities the company was sending contaminated soil and water to.

It should also be noted that Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg would not visit East Palestine until after former president Donald Trump went to the site to meet with concerned residents. Again, where are the climate change-crazed Democrats? Anywhere but East Palestine, it appears.

Previously reported by the New York Times, the compounds released into the environment by the derailment were:

Butyl acrylate, which causes breathing difficulty and skin irritation

Ethylhexyl acrylate, which can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, which has been shown in experiments to cause irritation of the nose and eyes, headaches, and vomiting.

Vinyl chloride, which can cause dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness when inhaled in the short term and a rare form of liver cancer after chronic exposure.

A government burning of the chemicals, which was deemed prudent to ensure that there would be no explosion, released gasses and mixtures of gasses into the air.

Some experts have warned about the toxic nature of the mixtures, and the “hundreds of different breakdown products that still remain…” according to the Times.


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