Ohio Train Derailment

Ohio Train Derailment

Lucy Williams, Staff Writer

On February 3rd, at 8:55 P.M., a train in East Palestine, Ohio derailed. The train was carrying the highly toxic chemical: vinyl chloride.

This incident might not seem very scary unless you’re familiar with the chemical itself. According to the National Cancer Institute,Vinyl chloride is manufactured heavily, as it’s used to make various plastic items used frequently. What’s scary, however, is that when vinyl chloride is burnt, it becomes phosgene- a chemical weapon used extensively during World War 1. The hazardous gas killed what is estimated to be 85% of of the 91,000 gas deaths during the World War.

Now, you might be asking why this background information even matters..

After the initial incident, officials made the choice to burn the hazardous chemical. With no surprise, it created phosgene. Citizens in Ohio continue to be concerned after the incident- worried about the long-term effects to the chemical exposure. Some officials claim that the levels are far too low to cause any issues, while others say the levels are higher than normal, and could cause long-term risks for Ohio as a whole.