Skip to content


Are we all living in East Palestine, Ohio?

The beginning of this month marked the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic East Palestine, Ohio train derailment.  And in this decidedly ongoing toxic chemical release saga, there’s a tremendously salient question that no national reporter, or local reporter for that matter, has yet to ask.  And I’ll get to that momentarily.  But first, a recap…

On February 3, 2023, just before 9 p.m., a Norfolk Southern train derailed near East Palestine.  Some of the train cars contained extremely hazardous/toxic chemicals.

The chemicals included: benzene; ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexy acrylate…  I mean, even trying to pronounce the names of these could kill you.  (Not to mention, most are carcinogenic.)

The latter chemicals are used in making all sorts of products.

Oh, and there was also phosgene gas, which was used as a highly lethal “poisonous gas” during World War I.  Phosgene gas is now used in making organic chemicals, dyestuff (paints, etc.), polyurethane resins…

During one of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s press conferences at the time, he said that, yes, the Norfolk Southern “manifest” listed these chemicals.  And yes, there was somewhat of a fire with some of the derailed train cars at the scene.

A reporter asked if it was prudent to do the subsequent “controlled burn” with the chemicals (to prevent a possible explosion)?  Or should the company have simply tried to cool the cars down?

Another reporter asked if it was, indeed, safe for East Palestine residents to return to their homes so soon after the accident? Yet another reporter wondered why states aren’t alerted prior to these kinds of toxic chemicals being shipped through them?  And on, and on…

All extremely valid questions.


I mean, think about it.

We have the tremendously advanced technological smarts to develop a spacecraft to take us to Mars, but we can’t come up with a paint without these toxic chemicals?

For instance, many of our current paints “…cause cancer in rats in California,” according to some of the labels.  And if the lab experiments were done elsewhere, it wouldn’t take Einstein to figure out the paints probably “…cause cancer in rats in Kentucky, Alabama and Montana, too.”

Now, I’m not a physiology professor at Dartmouth, but aren’t rats kinda/sorta, physiologically, especially with their respiratory system, pretty much the same as us.  I mean, they have a nose and breath stuff into their lungs. 

If the stuff they’re breathing (paint fumes in this case) have carcinogens in the vapors, um, wouldn’t it stand to reason some are going to get cancer – even rats in Alaska!  And by extension, um, we have noses and lungs too.

The chemicals in those train cars are, again, in our paints, our cleaning fluids, our plastics, our… 

Statistics show that one in three Americans will now get cancer in a lifetime.  And those odds are probably a bit higher in East Palestine, Ohio right now.

But frankly, shouldn’t we ALL be looking at this?  In fact, the rapid-release, voluminous vapors in East Palestine at the time, could merely be a microcosm of what’s happening to us all nationwide.  Only it’s just happening slower. 

And what’s more, shouldn’t we, ALL of us, be lobbying for legislation to ban these toxic chemicals?  Well of course we should.