East Palestine, Ohio residents are increasingly complaining about ‘unusual’ health problems in the wake of the Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic spill in early February.
“Doctors say I definitely have the chemicals in me but there’s no one in town who can run the toxicological tests to find out which ones they are,” resident Wade Lovett told the New York Post.
In his interview with the Post, Lovett said that his voice seemed to sound much higher than normal.
“My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low. It’s hard to breathe, especially at night,” he said. “My chest hurts so much at night I feel like I’m drowning. I cough up phlegm a lot. I lost my job because the doctor won’t release me to go to work.”
Another local resident, Shelby Walker, who lives close to the derailment site, told the paper that she and her family are also suffering health issues.
“The bad smell comes and goes,” Walker said. “Yesterday was the first day in probably three or four days that I could smell anything. I lost my smell and my sense of taste. I had an eye infection in both eyes. I was having respiratory issues like I was just out of breath. Other members of my family have had eye infections and strep throat.”
“The cleanup crew drives past us at night and won’t even look at us. It’s like we don’t exist. No one has reached out to us or told us anything,” she added.
There have been a number of East Palestine, Ohio residents who have reported rashes.
“Numerous inhabitants of the village have complained of unusual rashes, and a few have visited medical facilities in the past few days for treatment,” Collin Rugg reported on February 18. “However, health authorities remain ‘uncertain’ if this is linked to the train derailment and the consequent discharge of harmful chemicals on February 3rd.”
A household with John Bosley Jr., his girlfriend, and five children located just three blocks away said a 10-year-old in the house had developed a rash.
“I can’t say if there’s a link to this, but I don’t know what else it would have come from,” Bosley said.
Another person named Lindsey Ann posted photos in the social media forum East Palestine Talk showing that she had a rash on her abdomen.
— iTamara 💋 🥸 (@Real___iTamara) February 18, 2023
Amanda Greathouse, a local resident who said she has two preschool-age children, told CNN earlier in February that she broke out in a rash upon returning and detected a terrible smell forcing her to leave.
“When we went back on the 10th, that’s when we decided that we couldn’t raise our kids here,” Greathouse told CNN. She also said there was a smell that reminded her “of hair perming solution.”
When she had come home earlier in February, within 30 minutes, she developed nausea and a rash.
“When we left, I had a rash on my skin on my arm, and my eyes were burning for a few days after that,” she said.
President Biden in recent interviews gave no indication that he has plans to visit the East Palestine community. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently visited the area, one day after former President Donald Trump.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.