About 50 train cars, including some carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash on Friday, February 3.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and officials will hold a news conference Tuesday to provide an update on a train derailed in eastern Palestine.

You can watch the press conference in the player below.

About 50 train cars, including some carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash on Friday, February 3.

Days after the derailment, Ohio officials said the Norfolk Southern Railroad would conduct a “controlled release” of the vinyl chloride contents of five rail cars because of the risk of an explosion. The process involved burning rail car chemicals, releasing toxic fumes into the air.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health, vinyl chloride is a colorless and flammable gas. It is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, wire coatings, car upholstery, and plastic tableware, among other products.

According to the federal government’s National Cancer Institute, exposure to vinyl chloride has been linked to an increased risk of liver, brain and lung cancer, as well as lymphoma and leukemia.

When vinyl chloride is burned, as it was during the release, it produces chemicals such as hydrogen chloride and phosgene, according to the CDC. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was monitoring levels of these chemicals and others after the derailment.

According to the CDC, phosgene was “extensively” used as a weapon during World War I. Exposure to phosgene can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and even death.

Exposure to hydrogen chloride can cause skin, nose, eye and throat irritation, according to the CDC.

On February 8, the evacuation of people in eastern Palestine was canceled after air quality tests failed to show dangerous levels of chemicals.

As of February 12, the EPA had tested 291 homes in the area and found none of them to contain vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride. According to the latest update, the federal agency still needs to inspect 181 homes.


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