The authorities of USA they try to reassure the residents of East Palestine.
The inhabitants of this town in the state of Ohio they are very concerned since a train accident earlier this month released uncontrolled dangerous chemicals.
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At least five dangerous chemicals different were scattered in the area when the convoy with about 150 freight cars left the tracks.
The derailment totally or partially damaged about 50 railcars, of which at least 10 were carrying toxic materials, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Nearly two weeks later, East Palestine residents are still waiting for answers.
State authorities maintain the area is safe, but after the event thousands of dead fish were found in nearby streams and some residents reported headaches and sore eyes.
Among the chemical products scattered after the accident stands out the vinyl chlorideknown to cause cancer.
What is vinyl chloride?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that at least 5 hazardous chemicals were spilled: benzene, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene and butyl acrylate.
But the chemical that worries the local population the most is vinyl chloride.
This compound is mainly used to make polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC.
This is the basic material for many plastic products such as pipes, bottles, electrical cables and packaging.
Vinyl Chloride is a highly flammable, dangerous, colorless gas that is generally shipped in a liquid state.
Residents have complained of headaches and throat pain, burning eyes and a kind of "chemical smell" since the emergency teams burned vinyl chloride in a controlled way from five wagons that were at risk of exploding.
Large columns of black smoke billowed over the city, sparking fear and concern among its 5,000 residents.
When vinyl chloride burns, other chemicals are released into the air, such as hydrogen chloride and phosgene.
Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) is a colorless to slightly yellow gas with a strong odor that can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
When dissolved in water, HCl is known as hydrochloric acid.
Phosgene is a colorless, highly toxic gas with a strong odor that can cause chest pain, dry throat, vomiting, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
It was widely used as chemical weapon in World War Iwhere it became the choking agent responsible for the vast majority of chemical deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.
How safe is vinyl chloride?
The risk of public exposure to vinyl chloride is relatively low, although contact with this known carcinogen can have the following health effects:
In the past, traces of vinyl chloride have been found in water after spills and leaks.
Ohio authorities acknowledged that the toxicants released after the derailment had been deadly to wildlife, particularly fish.
However, the head of its Department of Health, Bruce Vanderhoff, declared Wednesday at a meeting with neighbors that the concentrations of toxins in the air and in water supplies were well below harmful levels for humans.
After testing the air quality, the Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this week that it had detected no harmful levels of pollutants.
He also tested the air inside hundreds of homes and claimed to have found no chemicals.