Earlier this month, on the Norfolk Southern railway in East Palestine, Ohio, a Hazardous Chemical Derailment occurred, causing significant concern and panic among local residents. While Norfolk Southern was responsible for the derailment, nearby residents had reportedly been warning authorities of the dangerous condition of the railway tracks for almost a year before the accident occurred. However, nothing was done to investigate or fix the problem, resulting in no surprise when the derailment finally happened. What was surprising to many, however, was the nature of the hazardous chemicals that the train was carrying, including Vinyl Chloride, an important industrial chemical used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Hazardous Chemical Derailment
Vinyl chloride is a volatile organic compound (VOC), which has the chemical formula H2C=CHCl and is also known as vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) or chloroethene, is an organochloride that can be hazardous if not handled properly. According to a reliable source, this colorless compound is mainly used for the production of PVC, and is known to be toxic and flammable. In the event of an accident like the derailment in East Palestine, vinyl chloride could cause a massive chemical hazard, potentially poisoning water supplies and contaminating the ground.
To prevent an explosion, Norfolk Southern opted to burn off the chemicals instead of allowing them to explode. As a result, citizens in East Palestine were advised to evacuate, but many of them did not bring their livestock with them. When they returned after the incident, they found their animals dead due to the effects of the hazardous chemicals. Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern’s testers reported finding no air contamination, although some residents claimed that the water was contaminated. While it is true that burning off vinyl chloride can convert it into other chemicals, it is also true that these chemicals could still be hazardous to human health.
Furthermore, according to some sources, the burning of vinyl chloride in East Palestine could have caused a phenomenon known as “rainbow snow” in nearby Canada. This is because the chemicals were carried by the wind and combined with rain and snow, causing a rainbow shimmer effect on the snow and frozen rain. While Norfolk Southern denies this claim, the effects of hazardous chemical accidents can be far-reaching and unpredictable.
In East Palestine, the EPA has now stepped in to ensure that both the air and water are safe for residents. However, some residents remain concerned that their water supply may have been contaminated, despite assurances to the contrary. Testing of the nearby water has shown no contamination so far, although it is possible that the hazardous chemicals may have sunk to the bottom of the water, making it necessary to test the water more thoroughly. In addition, some residents have voluntarily installed air testing probes in their homes to ensure that the air they breathe is safe.
Hazardous Chemical Derailment Prepping
While not all Hazardous Chemical Derailments are as noxious as the one in East Palestine, it is important to remember that on average, 20% of all train cars carry dangerous chemicals. For this reason, it is essential to be prepared for any such accidents. In some cases, it may be necessary to evacuate and find alternative sources of food and water. It is also indispensable to remember that not all water sources are safe to drink, and that water must be properly filtered and purified before consumption.
So the Hazardous Chemical Derailment Prepping we are going to suggest are these;
- Have stored water to use for you and your family.
- Have stored foods to use, rather than eating local produced food stuffs.
- Use the stored water to brush your teeth, wash your hair, pits, and private areas.
- Know where you can send your water and soil samples to have them tested.
- We recommend testing monthly for at least 3 months before bathing in any tap water.
- Wait at least 6 months before bathing in any municipal water source, including in a lake or river.
- Make sure the water company installs the proper filtration system, before considering using the water system for anything.
- If you can, move away.
- Do not take ANY money nor sign any documentation, until you speak with an environmental lawyer first.
That final part is critical. Long-term health concerns will not be known, possibly for decades. Signing anything or accepting money, could negate your chance to sue in case of lifelong health concerns.
WARNING: Reverse Osmosis isn’t enough to filter out organic compounds.
Vinyl chloride is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that can be difficult to remove from water using conventional filtration methods. Most water filtration systems, such as activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, and sediment filters, are not designed to specifically target VOCs like vinyl chloride. However, some specialized filtration systems, such as air stripping systems or granular activated carbon (GAC) filters, can effectively remove VOCs from water.
Air stripping systems use aeration and agitation to remove VOCs from water by releasing them into the air. This method is effective for removing VOCs with high volatility, such as vinyl chloride. GAC filters work by using a bed of activated carbon to adsorb and trap contaminants, including VOCs like vinyl chloride. These systems are often used in combination with other filtration methods, such as reverse osmosis, to ensure complete removal of contaminants.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of a water filtration system in removing vinyl chloride will depend on several factors, including the concentration of vinyl chloride in the water, the flow rate of the system, and the type of filtration media used. If you are concerned about the presence of vinyl chloride or other contaminants in your water, you should consult a water treatment specialist to determine the best course of action.