Health officials are going door-to-door conducting surveys with East Palestine residents to find out what symptoms people are experiencing after the toxic train derailment, under President Biden’s orders.
A team of 19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representatives will be asking residents to complete 30-minute surveys, NBC reported.
The group is expected to move into Pennsylvania this week and will also target the first responders at the derailment site.
Locals in East Palestine have been hit by a wave of unusual symptoms after trains carrying chemicals derailed in a crash and let off an explosion of toxic plumes three weeks ago.
East Palestine resident Wade Lovett, 40, told DailyMail.com today that his high-pitched voice ‘just keeps getting worse and worse’.
The chemicals on the board the train were vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, benzene residue, glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene
Wade Lovett, 40, has suffered breathing difficulties and his previously low voice now sounds high-pitched and squeaky. He has had to go off work sick as a result
Ayla Antoniazzi told CNN: ‘I did allow my four-year-old to return to preschool, which is in the East Palestine Elementary School. She went back for two days and developed another rash her hands and started complaining of itching, so I pulled her back out’
The toxic chemicals on board the trains are known to cause long-lasting damage, meaning these symptoms may only be the beginning for residents.
Mr Lovett, an auto detailer, was previously in good health but has developed a high-pitched, Michael-Jackson-like voice and trouble breathing since the chemical incident.
He told the New York Post: ‘My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low. It’s hard to breathe, especially at night. My chest hurts so much at night I feel like I’m drowning. I cough up phlegm a lot.’
He added: ‘The doctor says I most definitely have the chemicals in me.’
But Mr Lovett was told there are no toxicologists in the town, and he has to make a phone call and schedule an appointment.
He told DailyMail.com his voice ‘just keeps getting worse and worse. The more I talk, the worse it gets’.
Mr Lovett lives with his fiancée about 15 minutes from where the trains derailed but he works close to the site, which is why he believes he had been so badly affected.
Melissa Blake lives within a mile radius of the crash site in East Palestine. She told NBC News she began coughing up gray mucus and struggled to breathe two days after the train derailment on February 3.
She left her home and went straight to the emergency room, where doctors diagnosed her with ‘acute bronchitis due to chemical fumes’.
Ms Blake was given a breathing machine, oxygen, and three types of steriods. She was discharged from the hospital but is yet to return to her home.
The symptoms are yet to be officially linked to the derailment but the toxic chemicals released are known to cause a host of other effects, including cancer.
Exposure to chemicals can cause industrial or chemical bronchitis — inflammation of the airways in the lungs.
Symptoms include a cough that can last for weeks, coughing up mucus, chest pain, wheezing and shortness of breath.
A high-pitched voice could occur alongside wheezing, caused by air being forced through inflamed airways.
The mucus is usually yellow-green or yellow-gray in color. Inhaled irritants mixed in with the phlegm can cause it to be charcoal or gray.
Continued exposure to the irritant can lead to permanent lung damage, according to Mount Sinai.
Howard Young, general manager at CeramFab, a manufacturing company next to the derailment site, said half of its workforce were too ill to work last week.
Workers had symptoms including nosebleeds, rashes and were diagnosed with chemical bronchitis at the hospital.
Several residents in areas surrounding have been documenting their symptoms in Facebook groups and are finding it difficult to get proper medical advice as doctors are left stumped by what tests to do.
Barbara Levy, a marketing coordinator living in Youngstown in Ohio, a 30-minute drive from East Palestine, said she was suffering with what felt and looked like sunburn on her face and was ‘really itchy’.
She has struggled to get sufficient medical attention and said doctors ‘don’t want to deal with it’.
YA’OH-Khanah Ashath Shamashon, who lives in Campbell in Ohio, said herself and two of her daughters have been getting ‘hive-like rashes all over our bodies and headaches’ for ‘over a week’.
She said: ‘We can’t leave because we have nowhere to go at the moment. It worries me because I have a six-month old. I have not bathed him with the water. I bought gallons of water to bathe him in… This is so upsetting.’
Ayla and Tyler Antoniazzi said they were considering moving out of the area after their two young daughters began to show symptoms.
They live less than a mile from the incident and went back to their house the following day after the evacuation notice was lifted, but told CNN her children ‘weren’t themselves’.
She said: ‘My oldest had a rash on her face. The youngest did too but not as bad. The two-year-old was holding her eye and complaining that her eye was hurting. She was very lethargic.’
‘I did allow my four-year-old to return to preschool, which is in the East Palestine Elementary School. She went back for two days and developed another rash on her hands and started complaining of itching, so I pulled her back out,’ she added.
Commentators on Twitter have likened the disaster to Chernobyl — the 1986 nuclear accident in the Ukraine. Thirty-two people died as a result of radiation sickness and left many more who were exposed seriously unwell.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are finally in the town, under President Biden’s orders, and will visit homes to ask how residents are doing, see what they need and connect them with appropriate resources from government and nonprofit organizations.
Ohio’s Department of Health also opened a health clinic in East Palestine last week amid fears of a public health crisis.
It rapidly expanded its services to offers tens of thousands of residents in Ohio and Pennsylvania free health checks.
The toxic soup of chemicals unleashed following an Ohio train crash include two known carcinogens and other substances which can cause convulsions and vomiting.
Railroad company Norfolk Southern let the chemicals into the atmosphere in a controlled fashion days later which they said was necessary to avert a possible explosion.
Originally, Norfolk Southern released a fact sheet which listed the chemicals on the board the train as vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, benzene residue and other combustible liquids.
It then emerged that three more dangerous chemicals — glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene — were on board the train.
Vinyl chloride is a carcinogen that can shut down the central nervous system, while benzene is a naturally occurring colorless or pale yellow liquid.
Minutes to hours after breathing benzene in, it can bring on symptoms including drowsiness, dizziness, increased or irregular heartbeat, headaches, confusion, unconsciousness and even death at very high levels.
Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether is a liquid used in paint stripper that can cause vomiting, ethylhexyl acrylate is a substance in glue that causes drowsiness and butyl acrylate is a colorless liquid also used to make paints, glues and sealants.
According to the CDC, severe exposure to its vapor can lead to irritation in the eyes, including redness and tearing up, a scratchy throat, issues with breathing and redness and cracking of the skin.
Animals in the area have also been turning up dead. A North Lima resident, roughly ten miles from the train derailment, had her six chickens die days after the chemical fire started.
Taylor Holzer, a registered foxkeeper who lives outside the evacuation perimeter, told WKBN all his foxes were ill and one had died. Dead fish were also spotted in waterways around the scene after the incident.