Toxic Chemicals From NJ Train Wreck May Not Be Cleared Until Next Week

"A U.S. Coast Guard official told an angry crowd on Wednesday that it may take until next week to clear the air of toxic chemicals spilled after a train wreck in their south New Jersey town, where evacuations were ramped up this week."

"Elevated levels of vinyl chloride, a highly toxic and flammable industrial chemical, are low, but must get back down to zero before residents of the 148 houses evacuated in Paulsboro, New Jersey, are allowed to return to their homes, said Coast Guard Captain Kathy Moore.

'I can't say anything sooner than Sunday to get back into your houses,' Moore told the estimated 500 people at a meeting at a school gymnasium in the neighboring town of Clarksboro.

Respiratory problems, coughing and light-headedness were the problems that residents exposed to the hazardous chemicals may experience, 'but there is no long-term effect,' said Lawrence Ragonese, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection."

Dave Warner reports for Reuters December 6, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 12/06/2012