The site of Ohio town's train derailment in the United States contains cancer-causing toxin levels far above the safe limit, newly released data has found.
The levels of toxins found in two soil samples are up to 14 times higher than dioxin soil limits in some US states. At the same time, 'the numbers point to wider contamination', Linda Birnbaum, a former head of the US National Toxicology Programme and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientist was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Dioxins are a class of chemicals that are a byproduct produced when chlorine is burned, which is a common industrial process in making products such as polymer pipes.
"The levels are not screaming high, but we have confirmed that dioxins are in East Palestine’s soil," she was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "The EPA must test the soil in the area more broadly."
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East Palestine's train crash as well as its toxic aftermath have become a major issue in the United States. The locals as well as the activists have cited a lack of action by both the government and the train operator, Norfolk Southern.
The data released suggests that the soil at the site of train crash had toxicity equivalence of “2,3,7,8 TCDD toxicity equivalence” of 700 parts per trillion (ppt). The level at which the authorities will initiate cleanup action in residential areas is 1,000 ppt.
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In many US states, the cleanup triggers are much lower than what has been reported from Ohio's train derailment site – 90 ppt in Michigan, and 50 ppt in California.
“So based on this, the concentrations are actually concerning,” Carsten Prasse, an organic chemist at Johns Hopkins University and scientific adviser for SimpleLab, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
(With inputs from agencies)
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