New study: East Palestine air pollutants show possible long-term health concerns

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 2:54 PM EST
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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WOIO) - A recent Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon study in East Palestine is bringing good news and bad news. The study, which has tested air quality following the train derailment, has shown some carcinogens are seeing reduced levels, while others are approaching levels that could be of health concern.

The study compared samples from North Carolina after Hurricane Florence in 2018 and samples from the East Palestine train derailment in February of 2023. The comparisons showed that BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes) levels are considered normal. Those chemicals are considered volatile and are typically associated with petroleum products.

Unfortunately, the study also showed that nine out of approximately 50 reporting chemicals from the EPA are higher than normal. Texas A&M went on to explain that “if these levels continue, they may be of health concern (especially acrolein).”

More analysis is expected to be done over the next few weeks, where the study will look into two main questions: “Are there other chemicals in the air that EPA isn’t monitoring? What about locations were EPA doesn’t have a monitor?”