The Ohio Environmental Disaster

Goods train

Maybe you didn't know about it ohio environmental disaster because the North American authorities took several days to report on this event. matched with celebrities balloons that flew over United States territory and that dominated the pages of the media.

However, with the passing of days, seeing its disastrous consequences, the country's institutions have spread the accident. And that despite the effects of the serious accident have only just begun. So that you are well informed, we are going to explain everything you need to know about the Ohio environmental disaster and what it can cause as soon as to pollution and the people.

What happened and where it happened

east palestine

East Palestine, epicenter of Ohio's environmental catastrophe

On the third day of February a freight train derailed and then caught fire in the city of east palestine, which belongs to the state of Ohio. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and the causes of the accident are still unknown.

But, unfortunately, we cannot tell you the same about the subsequent damage it can cause to people and the environment. Because, according to Norfolk Southern, owner of the derailed convoy, it was carrying no less than 300 liters of vinyl chloride in five of its fifty wagons.

It is a chemical substance that is used, above all, to make plastics and that, if exposed to high temperatures, becomes very toxic and can be lethal. As if that were not enough, it is highly flammable. In fact, when the accident occurred, explosions were recorded and a big toxic cloud.

What did the US authorities do?

a freight train

Freight train on a bridge in Washington

The fact that the incident was slow to report does not mean that its importance has been minimized. The health authorities of United States immediately understood the seriousness of the event and took the appropriate measures. Immediately nearby towns were evacuated to the place of the derailment, mainly that of east palestine, of about five thousand inhabitants.

However, according to the authorities themselves, some five hundred people refused to leave. And this despite the fact that it was explained to them that the spilled substance was unstable and could explode at any time. In any case, the controlled release of vinyl chloride was started. And, already on Monday, February XNUMX, this process was finished by burning it in a manner, likewise, under surveillance. In turn, this generated another huge toxic cloud which is still visible today.

Two days later, those responsible for the environment checked the area with their devices. They concluded that both the air and the drinking water were free of toxins and allowed the inhabitants of the area to return to their homes.

The Current Situation of the Ohio Environmental Disaster


Freight rail platform in Denver

Despite everything we have told you, it seems that things are not clear. Vinyl chloride causes choking and poisoning, but it also has Long-term effects. In fact, it can cause the appearance of diseases such as cancer.

In addition, voices have already been raised that warn of the danger. For example, lynn goldman, who is dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. She has said that when the vinyl chloride is removed, invisible particles are left in the air that they can be more dangerous than the vapors of their burning. For this reason, he proposes that an exhaustive evaluation of the area be carried out to detect not only possible remains of this gas, but also other toxic substances.

Because, according to United States Environmental Protection Agencythe crashed train also carried other combustible substances. Between them, butyl acrylate, which is used to make paints and plastics. If applicable, it can cause respiratory, eye and skin irritation. Also, the convoy carried ethylene glycol monobutyl, also used as a solvent for paints and classified as highly toxic.

On the other hand, several residents of the area already have sued Norfolk Southern, responsible for the train, to demand that he pay for the damage. And also to pay for the medical examinations of the inhabitants of the place in a radius of thirty miles around the accident.

Ohio's environmental disaster looking ahead

ohio river

Ohio River as it passes through Cincinnati

Although the environmental disaster in Ohio is already causing serious consequences, as we told you, it may not stop there. Because it is suspected that the spillage of the train have leaked into the Ohio River. Like everything in the United States, the rivers and lakes they are gigantic.

The Ohio has a length of 1579 kilometers that reach up to 2108 if one of its tributaries, the Allegheny River, is added. It is, therefore, one of the ten largest in the country and bathes a basin of 490 601 square kilometers, almost as big as Spain (505 square kilometers).

Bearing in mind that the toxic spills will follow the course of the river and, consequently, will not contaminate it in an upward direction, they will reach various states of the nation. Specifically, in addition to Ohio, some like Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, or Kentucky. In view of all this, you can imagine the consequences that river contamination can have for their populations.

According to official calculations, it supplies water to ten percent of the population of the United States, about thirty million people. Such is the magnitude of the event that some media have dubbed it "the American Chernobyl."

It is true that it is a very serious environmental disaster, but comparing it with the catastrophe of that nuclear power plant that spread radioactivity to all of Europe seems, to say the least, excessive. What have not been slow to appear are conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy theories

Train in California

A freight train in California

As usually happens in these cases, conspiracy theses of all kinds have not taken long to appear. The less bizarre accuse the White House of focus attention on Chinese spy balloons not to report the event of east palestine, but there are all kinds.

In any case, what is certain is that the silence of the Biden Administration about the accident contributes to further these theories. As if this were not enough, according to some sources, the journalist Evan Lambert, medium NewsNation, was arrested during the press conference in which Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio, reported on the incident. Apparently, he had been photographing the surroundings.

In conclusion, the ohio environmental disaster has had serious consequences. But perhaps the most tragic come with time. What seems to be proven is that the toxic spills they have reached the ohio river, which gives water to thirty million people.

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