Ohio GOP Governor Mike DeWine urged President Biden to visit East Palestine, Ohio, in the wake of a train derailment that forced 5,000 residents to evacuate and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of animals. However, when asked about visiting the affected area, Biden dismissed the idea of an immediate visit. “I’m not sure what I could do,” he said during a press conference. It remains to be seen if Biden will make plans to visit East Palestine in the future.
Ohio GOP Governor Mike DeWine called on President Biden to visit the site of a recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, stating that “the people want to see the president.” In an interview with Fox & Friends, DeWine emphasized the importance of Biden’s visit and urged him to make plans for it. However, when asked by reporters about his intentions regarding a visit to East Palestine, Biden replied that he had been in contact with officials from both parties and would be visiting at some point.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Texas A&M University, air quality in East Palestine, Ohio remains a concern following a train derailment on February 3. The study found that levels of benzene, toluene, xylenes, and vinyl chloride exceeded minimal risk levels for intermediate exposures set by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Additionally, the study revealed an elevated presence of acrolein, a chemical commonly used on algae, plants, and rodents that can cause inflammation of respiratory tract and mucous membranes, according to the CDC. This finding raises further concerns about the potential health risks faced by residents affected by the train derailment.
Dr. Albert Presto, Associate Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, has commented on the findings of a recent study testing air quality in East Palestine, Ohio following a train derailment. According to Dr. Presto, while the elevated levels of acrolein found in the air are not an immediate cause for evacuation, their long-term effects remain uncertain.
Dr. Presto also noted that some residents have reported experiencing symptoms such as rashes and difficulty breathing. He expressed skepticism towards blanket reassurances about air quality, saying: “When someone says to them then, ‘everything is fine everywhere,’ if I were that person, I wouldn’t believe that statement.”
Residents affected by the train derailment have also spoken out about their health concerns. One resident reported experiencing difficulty breathing and burning lungs, causing her to lose her voice intermittently.