A lawyer who represents 9/11 victims was baffled by the EPA’s claims that the “air is safe” following the East Palestine train derailment and release of highly-toxic chemicals.
Michael Barasch, whose law firm represents thousands of 9/11 victims, said East Palestine residents should not trust the EPA.
The 9/11 toxic dust was said to be “safe.”
However, people who breathed the toxic fumes continue to suffer from debilitating illnesses.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Barasch said it sent “shivers” up his spine when he heard the EPA comment that East Palestine’s air quality was fine.
East Palestine residents remain skeptical about the water and air being fine as they should be.
“We walked in our house and everything literally started burning — our throats, our noses”: As the EPA reiterates claims that air and water qualities are safe, East Palestine residents are worried about the longterm effects of toxic chemicals released from a derailed train. pic.twitter.com/PH3KBlreTq
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) February 17, 2023
More than two weeks after a train derailment caused an environmental disaster in their town, residents of East Palestine, Ohio, say their skin is crawling at the touch of home.
But it’s not just the rashes, headaches, and runny noses that have become rampant in East Palestine, Ohio, in the toxic aftermath of the derailment.
It’s the fear of what might come next.
Katlyn Schwarzwaelder, who lives not far from the derailment site, told NewsNation what she realized had happened to her.
“I undressed to get into the shower, and I had a rash all over the side of my face on both sides and all over my chest,” Schwarzwaelder said.
“My boyfriend, Chris, also had a rash on his left side, and I mean to this moment, right now, I have just a really low-grade constant headache,” Schwarzwaelder added.
Many families that tried to return gave up.
“When we went back on the 10th, that’s when we decided that we couldn’t raise our kids here,” said Amanda Greathouse, who has a husband and two pre-school-aged children, according to CNN.
Audrey DeSanzo told CNN she’s not buying government assurances that everything is peachy.
“It’s not in all these people’s heads that are getting rashes, that are having the conjunctivitis, the pinkeye, from chemicals. You have a sore throat when you’re staying here. It smells out here,” she said.
Ayla and Tyler Antoniazzi, who have been living in East Palestine since April, according to CNN, wanted to return but could not.
“Before bringing my kids back home, I washed all the linen and a bunch of clothes, cleaned surfaces and aired the house out,” Ayla Antoniazzi said.
“But the next day when they woke up, they weren’t themselves. My oldest had a rash on her face. The youngest did, too, but not as bad. The 2-year-old was holding her eye and complaining that her eye was hurting. She was very lethargic, so I took them back to my parents’ home,” she said.
It did not take long for her to regret it when she tried to return.
“I did allow my 4-year-old to return to preschool, which is in the East Palestine Elementary School. She went back for two days and developed another rash on her hands and started complaining of itching, so I pulled her back out,” Ayla Antoniazzi said.
We’ve received a lot of emails regarding the situation in East Palestine but one really caught our attention:
My husband died of kidney cancer. He worked at BF Goodrich in Avon Lake Ohio in the late 1970s. The chemicals mentioned in the spills are the same ones he worked with and because they were so dangerous they weren’t even allowed to eat a package of peanuts on the floors where these chemicals were kept in vats. At night the company vented out vinyl chloride into the atmosphere to avoid the EPA. At that time that whole area had the highest birth rate defects of any place in the country. The company checked the blood of the workers every 6 mo for abnormalities. Before my husband quit, he received a letter saying he had abnormalities in his blood test. They would not give us the information but told us to see our physician. Well it turned out he had kidney cancer. He died at age 50, we never received any money from the company that killed him. I’m sure there are thousands of workers who deserve to be compensated. Those people living near where those spills have taken place or in great danger. They cannot just settle now, because this takes a while to show up in their physical body and blood. I hope they don’t return home and I especially hope if they do they do not drink any water or eat any produce that has been produced from that land.
The Associated Press noted that EPA Administrator Michael Regan said to “trust the government.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who walked along a creek that still reeks of chemicals, sought to reassure skeptical residents that the water is fit for drinking and the air safe to breathe around East Palestine, where just under 5,000 people live near the Pennsylvania state line.
“I’m asking they trust the government. I know that’s hard. We know there’s a lack of trust,” Regan said. “We’re testing for everything that was on that train.”
Since the derailment, residents have complained about headaches and irritated eyes and finding their cars and lawns covered in soot. The hazardous chemicals that spilled from the train killed thousands of fish, and residents have talked about finding dying or sick pets and wildlife.
Residents are frustrated by what they say is incomplete and vague information about the lasting effects from the disaster, which prompted evacuations.