CRIMINAL: EPA Not Testing for DEADLY Dioxins in East Palestine After Train Explosion
"One of them is the most toxic chemical ever tested in the United States. It is a NASTY chemical." Steven Lester, Science Director, Center for Health and Envioronmental Justice
“It is a NASTY chemical.”
“If they don’t do the testing for the dioxin then people will never understand what the risks that they were facing here in results to the accident.” said Steven Lester, Science Director at the Center for Health and Environmental Justice. “Dioxin is an extraodionarily toxic substance. It causes cancer, reproductive problems, immune problems, diabetes, the list goes on, and on, and on.”
Status Coup’s Louis DeAngelis asks Steven Lester about the dangers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not currently testing for dioxins. “The EPA had to know when they were going to burn vinyl chloride that dioxin would be formed. It’s criminal that they didn’t come forward with that. I think it’s, in some ways, up to the folks in this room and this town to hold them accountable. Them and Norfolk Southern.” Lester said.
”What I suspect is that if [the EPA] test for it, they’ll find it, and because it’s so toxic, that people will be justified in their concerns and their fears about what could happen to them,” Lester said. “The agency knows better. There’s a long history of studying this chemical, this class of chemicals. The fact that they are refusing, or not so much refusing but avoiding, testing for it, speaks to me that they are afraid of Pandora’s Box.”
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO OF THE EAST PALESTINE TOWN MEETING COVERAGE:
Lester explained in the Feb. 23rd East Palestine residential Community Meeting, organized by River Valley Organizing, that when vinyl chloride is burned it can generate up to 75 different types of dioxins that can cause a myriad of short-term and long-term health risks.
The World Health Organization website page about dioxins states that “Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones, and also cause cancer.”
According to the EPA website, dioxins are a “toxic chemical compound” that “can get into drinking water from air emissions from waste incineration and other combustion with deposition to lakes and reservoirs.” The website also notes the deposition of toxins from the air can stay on the soil and eventually erode into water tables.
Three Rivers Water Keeper Heather Von Tassel also noted concerns about health risks on the Ohio River Valley water supply, the Ohio River, and tributaries, also pushing for the EPA to conduct more thorough testing of potentially impacted waterways, for both the short and long-term.
“Sometimes the cleanups prioritize cost, availability, and speed and that isn’t always the safest way to prioritize testing. So, we have seen, in past instances, when the right things aren’t being tested for, that doesn’t mean what they are testing for isn’t the right thing to test for, they’re just missing things,” Three Rivers Water Keeper Heather Von Tassel told Status Coup’s Louis DeAngelis when asked about the EPA not testing for dioxin.
“Just a couple sites, sampling for a couple different things, and coming in and saying it’s safe is not the whole picture, and it’s not allowing the community members to determine the actual amount of risk they are exposing themselves to,” Van Tassel said.
Status Coup was ON-THE-GROUND ALL WEEK at East Palestine. Please subscribe to Status Coup on YouTube for updates.
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