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Environmental Protection Agency Won’t Search For Toxins In East Palestine Because They Know They’ll Find It, Expert Says

An op-ed written by toxicologist and science director of the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice Stephen Lester argued that the EPA is unwilling to do the necessary testing to ensure the health and safety of residents in East Palestine, Ohio.

Why? Because if the EPA runs any tests in and around the site of a 38-car Norfolk Southern train derailment site, they will absolutely find toxins, Lester argued. The op-ed, published by The Guardian, argued that the choice by authorities to burn off vinyl chloride will generate “dioxins” — a name given to persistent, highly toxic chemicals commonly found in Agent Orange and in other U.S. sites of environmental catastrophe.

Dioxin is an unintended byproduct of the industrial process, and is produced by burning off vinyl chloride, which is exactly what happened in East Palestine, Ohio. Because the EPA won’t do any testing to confirm or deny the presence of widespread dioxin, Lester pondered how much of it is in the soil at the site of the incident and downwind.  (LEARN MORE: Biden Visits Ukraine Instead Of Helping American Citizens In East Palestine, Ohio)

Residents in and around East Palestine described clouds of ash landing on properties 15 miles away from the crash. This ash could easily contain dioxin, posing a huge public safety to issue to families, farmland, animal agriculture, and more. But it appears the EPA either doesn’t care or doesn’t want to deal with the impact this horrific incident has on real people.

“This makes no sense. Testing for dioxin, a highly toxic substance, should have been one of the first things to look for, especially in the air once the decision was made to burn the vinyl chloride,” Lester argued. “There is no question that dioxins were formed in the vinyl chloride fire. They would have formed on the particulate matter – the black soot – in the cloud that was so clearly visible at the time of the burn. Now, the question is how much is in the soil where people live in and around East Palestine. Without testing, no one will know and the people who live there will remain in the dark, uncertain about their fate.”

This fate could include cancer, reproductive damage, developmental problems in children, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, infertility, immune system impairments, and skin lesions, Lester noted. (LEARN MORE: Congressman Aims To Force Biden Administration To Investigate Another Environmental Disaster)

We don’t have to let the EPA get away with their negligence

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