A news study recently revealed there were high concentrations of a chemical irritant called acrolein near the East Palestine derailment site.
Yesterday, there were reports that another train derailment in Pennsylvania resulted in evacuations of the surrounding area.
A CSX freight train derailed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, early Monday, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents and businesses, officials said.
Multiple train cars derailed just before 5 a.m. in the Plymouth Meeting section of Whitemarsh Township near Flourtown Road, Joshua Road and Stenton Avenue, Whitemarsh Township said in a statement.
Precautionary evacuations were ordered for those closest to the scene, and officials said that it is not believed that further evacuations will be necessary. The orders were later lifted.
Officials said there are no reported injuries and no known hazards to the public.
While the emergency situation appears to be resolved today, it is a reminder that the state is still dealing with the fallout from the chemical release residue from the derailment that occurred in East Palestine this February. Following up on this disaster, a new study recently revealed there were high concentrations of a chemical irritant called acrolein near the derailment site.
The chemical wasn’t one of the substances that spilled; it may have been a byproduct of chemical reactions that occurred during the conflagration.
According to the study, levels of a chemical irritant called acrolein detected near the derailment site on Feb. 20 and 21 were up to six times higher than normal levels recorded before the disaster. But local and federal officials had told residents it was safe to return home on Feb. 8.
The test results were released earlier this year but published for the first time Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Longer-term exposure to concentrations of acrolein at the detected levels may be a health concern, the researchers wrote.
Low levels of exposure to acrolein are associated with slow breathing and burning in the nose and the throat. Studies in animals have found that long-term exposure can result in damage to the lining of the lungs, abnormal lesions or nasal tumors.
“The acrolein was a little bit surprising,” said Albert Presto, an associate research professor in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, who conducted the research.
That’s because acrolein wasn’t among the chemicals that spilled or burned after the train jumped the tracks. The researchers aren’t sure why it was present, though it could have been a byproduct or a mixture of other chemicals that were released.
There was a 10-car derailment in Minnesota today as well. While chemicals were present in the railcars, there are no indications that any release occurred.
The derailment happened just before 8:30 p.m. Monday in a rural, unpopulated area about 6 miles (10 kilometers) north of Cook, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters who responded found five of the derailed cars had tipped over, while the others remained upright.
Two of the cars contained liquefied propane and butane, but none appeared to have spilled, both the sheriff’s office and Canadian Railway said.
The sheriff’s office originally reported that nine cars had derailed, but Canadian Railway spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said Tuesday that 10 cars had derailed. The cause of the derailment in being investigated, Abecassis said, and cleanup was continuing Tuesday. Abecassis said he could not give an estimate of when the rail line would reopen to traffic.
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