Weeks after the Ohio train derailment, health concerns are mounting in eastern Palestine

“There are hundreds of chemicals that could be in play at this point, and we absolutely have the tools in science to test most of them,” said Dr. Kari Nadeau, the chief of Harvard’s Department of Environmental Health, who studies the toxicological effects of smoke in air pollution, including burning plastics. But Congress only allows the EPA to monitor the environment for a limited list of pollutants, and even with approval, the bureaucratic process of validating and deploying each of the assays could take years.

Instead, aerial monitors hang from stop signs and trees — wrapped in plastic bags to protect them from rain, an obstacle Dr. Nadeau described as “worrying”.

Another key force often overlooked in toxin monitoring: gravity. Even when the air and surface resources appear clean, chemicals tend to seep down into the soil and into deep urban water sources, even some previously tested safe, toxicologists say. And as water sources become diluted over time, toxin levels can simply fall below regulatory thresholds, giving a false sense of purity.

“In toxicology, both dose and timing are important,” said Dr. Nadeau, who also practices medicine and treats children with sensitivities. “We are only as good as our tests.”

The Mascher family has been a fixture in East Palestine since Mr. Mascher’s great-great-grandfather opened a jewelry shop on Market Street, down where Gorby’s Sandwiches and an antiques shop are now, in 1876 and later became mayor. The granddaughters are eighth generation residents. But the night they returned from the evacuation, they also became an illustration of a painful reality: when trauma strikes, not everyone escapes.

When Vivian, Ms Glavan’s 8-year-old, developed new rashes, she turned her car over. Her household has since moved to Homeworth, Ohio, about 30 miles west.

“You know I can’t take her back there, Dad,” Ms. Glavan told Mr. Mascher over the phone. He nodded silently.


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *