"Millions Of Americans Face Risk Of A Toxic ‘Bomb Train’"

"A new report estimates trains carrying toxic chemicals run past millions of people, including in major population hubs".

"Less than a year ago, a disastrous train derailment sent a massive plume of dangerous chemicals billowing over East Palestine, Ohio, startling the town of nearly 5,000 residents and onlookers nationwide. Now, a new report warns that more of these catastrophes may loom: At any given moment, more than an estimated 3 million people are unknowingly at risk, as toxic trains full of a highly combustible and carcinogenic chemical used to make plastic move between Texas and New Jersey.

The report, published by Toxic-Free Future, an environmental health research and advocacy group, and Material Research, a group researching toxic pollution and inequity, created a map estimating a regular route for nearly 36 million pounds of the chemical, vinyl chloride. The path begins with OxyVinyl plants in Texas — a leading producer of the substance — to factories in New Jersey. The toxic chemical is normally used in polyvinyl chloride products — plastic materials including pipes, cable coatings and packaging materials.

Throughout any day, more than 200 rail cars filled with the chemical are moved across nearly 2,000 miles of U.S. railways — including through major population centers, the report said. And some experts worry that without intervention, the mass transport of the substance is another environmental health disaster just waiting to happen."

Amudalat Ajasa reports for the Washington Post January 29, 2024.

Source: Washington Post, 01/31/2024