Lawmakers Issue Warning Over Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Ohio 

( Over the weekend, two senators from Ohio, JD Vance (R) and Sherrod Brown (D) wrote to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state agency responsible for environmental regulation to inquire about the possible spread of a substance near East Palestine, Ohio, that might cause cancer. 

The two senators from Ohio wrote a letter to the EPA Administrator and the Ohio EPA Director, warning that vinyl chloride, the chemical authorities burned after a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, forms dioxins, the highly toxic compound that is linked to extreme health risks. 

Using EPA data, they described how dioxins might wreak havoc on hormones, leading to cancer, infertility, and other developmental issues. Some research suggests that exposure to dioxins might potentially weaken the immune system. Vance and Brown inquired whether dioxin testing was being conducted, and they sought details on the federal and state process for dealing with widespread dioxin exposure. 

They wrote that after their trip to East Palestine and hearing firsthand from neighborhood citizens, they remain concerned that it does not seem that the U.S. EPA, OEPA, or Norfolk Southern is testing for dioxins. 

They are deeply concerned that dioxins were released into the environment and spread across the East Palestine neighborhood and maybe farther afield. The letter closed with a demand for rapid coordination between the two agencies to establish a testing regimen to assure frequent testing for dioxins in the area, as well as six questions on the agencies’ current dioxin testing approach that they wanted to be addressed by February 24. 

To guarantee openness, the senators argue that this monitoring must be done quickly and shared with the local community. 

Several tests undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and contractors working for Norfolk Southern have assured citizens that the air and water are safe to breathe and drink. 

Experts have cautioned that the chemical spill will have lasting effects on the ecosystem, and some people are concerned about their long-term health due to the occurrence.