A mass die-off of animals
is now occurring in the vicinity of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment and controlled explosion site.
Local dairy farmer Taylor Holzer says several of the foxes he keeps on his property have become "mortally ill" since plumes of vinyl chloride and other noxious chemicals were intentionally released from the derailed train cars.
"Out of nowhere, he just started coughing really hard, just shut down, and he had liquid diarrhea and just went very fast," Holzer told WKBN
about what he observed with one of the foxes.
Other foxes, Holzer says, are developing watery eyes and puffy faces, and are uncharacteristically refusing to eat like they normally would.
"Smoke and chemicals from the train, that's the only thing that can cause it, because it doesn't just happen out of nowhere," Holzer added. "The chemicals that we're being told are safe in the air, that's definitely not safe for the animals ... or people."
(Related: These same chemicals are likely to cause "cancer clusters"
among local residents in the coming months and years.)
Exposure to vinyl chloride linked to liver, lung, and "several other types of cancer"
Vinyl chloride, one of the chemicals the train was transporting, is linked to dizziness, nausea, headache, and breaching complications, said University of Toledo
environmental engineering professor Ashok Kumar to the media.
"Breathe those in under heavy concentrations and it's really bad for you," added Prof. Kevin Crist, director of Ohio University
's Air Quality Center, about vinyl chloride, which can also cause cancer of the liver and other organs.
"It's like an acid mist. It's not something that you want to be around in high concentrations."
Authorities say they had to induce a controlled burn of these chemicals in order to avoid a "catastrophic tanker failure" that could have resulted in a much larger explosion.
Air monitoring tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supposedly show no toxic threats, and area residents were told days ago that it is now safe to return home. All the sick and dying animals would beg to differ, however.
"My video camera footage shows my chickens were perfectly fine before they started this burn," said Amanda Breshears of North Lima. "And as soon as they started the burn, my chickens slowed down and they died."
"If it can do this to chickens in one night, imagine what it's going to do to us in 20 years."
The last time something similar to this occurred was in Paulsboro, New Jersey, back in 2012. A spillage of vinyl chloride resulted in the state's Department of Health compiling and issuing a fact sheet on the potential effects of exposure, which at the time were unknown.
"It is not known whether short-term exposure to vinyl chloride can cause long-term health effects," the fact sheet reads.
The Wisconsin Department of Health released a more recent fact sheet on vinyl chloride revealing that both human and animal studies show that exposure to the toxic chemical is linked to "higher rates of liver, lung and several other types of cancer."
"Being exposed to vinyl chloride can affect a person's liver, kidney, lung, spleen, nervous system and blood," the fact sheet goes on to explain.
"People exposed to [extremely high] levels ... may have an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Damage to male sperm-producing organs has occurred in laboratory animals."
In the comments, someone pointed out that the government's messaging now is similar to what was claimed back after 9/11 when the EPA and other federal agencies claimed that the contaminated air around Ground Zero was safe to breathe.
More of the latest news about the East Palestine train derailment and controlled chemical release can be found at Disaster.news
Sources for this article include: