A local health care worker is calling the phenomenon "chemical bronchitis." Patients are reportedly turning up at clinics with a bad cough and other concerning symptoms such as a burning sensation when they breathe, rashes on the body, and general feelings of weakness.
QUICKmed Urgent Care told local media outlet WKBN that its workers are seeing many such patients since the incident occurred. When people leave East Palestine, even just temporarily, they start to feel fine, only to have their symptoms return when they arrive back home.
"This could be a lot of things, but if you're leaving your house and [symptoms] improve, and you go back and it comes back, I'm not thinking that's allergies or not thinking it’s a cold," QUICKmed's Deb Weese is quoted as saying. "I think it's related to that stuff you're inhaling there."
The burning sensation that many patients are feeling could be related to chemical bronchitis, Weese added, noting that it is still unknown the full extent of chemicals that were burned and released by the government following the wreck.
"Let's face it: If it comes down to it, it might be something in the future that comes about from all these chemicals they're breathing in that we don't know about, so it's important that they document all of their symptoms," Weese explained.
(Related: Dioxin contamination is not just a food and air issue; you can also absorb them through your skin.)
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, more than 43,000 fish and other aquatic animals have died as a result of chemical exposure – but this is of no concern, authorities say.
Everyone is safe to return back home to East Palestine, we are told – though many residents are not buying it. They worry that the mushroom-like plume of smoke that resulted from the controlled explosion has polluted their hometown and region.
"This is dioxin poisoning," one commenter wrote about the chemical bronchitis that some are experiencing. "The molecules created when burning vinyl chloride make dioxins that don't break down, one the most cancer-causing agents known to mankind. This is a terrible injustice that has been done to these people."
Another person made note of the phosgene gas that was also released, and that it is likewise "very toxic, affecting the respiratory system." Phosgene gas, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a byproduct of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) combustion.
As for Norfolk Southern, the company responsible for the wreck and explosion, it has hired an independent contractor known for fudging the numbers to handle all "testing" of the site in and around where the wreck occurred.
"The private company Norfolk Southern hired to do testing says everything is fine – just go back as if nothing happened," a commenter said about the company's corrupt approach to this horrific disaster.
"They should do a controlled burning of that private company's building, but then lock the doors first like the Chinese do," said another, tongue-in-cheek.
"It's not just East Palestine that is at risk," someone else said. "The burning of the huge amount of vinyl chloride created the biggest dioxin cloud ever. The whole Ohio River Valley and the northeast will be affected."
Another asked sarcastically: "Who are you going to believe? The EPA and the governor or your lying burning lungs and skin lesions?"
The latest news about the train derailment disaster in East Palestine can be found at Disaster.news.
Sources for this article include: