After a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3rd, 2023, resident farmers and consumers are concerned about the long-term effects on food safety, as the accident resulted in the leakage of toxic chemicals.
Because of the accident, authorities prompted the public to evacuate because of the risk of an explosion. As chemicals infiltrate the air and soil, food safety and the effects on crops and livestock are becoming a growing concern.
Ohio ranks first in cheese production, second in egg production, and third in tomatoes and pumpkins.
The EPA has been monitoring the air for several other hazardous chemicals, including phosgene and hydrogen chloride, which are released by burning vinyl chloride. Phosgene exposure can cause eye irritation, dry throat, and vomiting, while hydrogen chloride can irritate the skin, nose, eyes, and throat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Department of Agriculture have not officially commented on the accident, they received permission for the resisters to return to feed their cattle.
The long-term effects are still difficult to predict; however, authorities have issued some recommendations to avoid spreading the substances, including cleaning surfaces that accumulate dust and washing odor-absorbing items such as sheets and curtains.
Officials have stated that the air is safe to breathe and the water is safe to drink and that to reach out to their medical provider if they experience symptoms of chemical exposure.
Pilet, J. (2023, Feb 15 ). Questions raised about food safety in Ohio in wake of the train wreck. Food Safety News. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2023/02/questions-raised-over-food-safety-in-ohio/