Half of a CDC research team studying the health effects of the toxic East Palestine train derailment fell ill, according to a statement from the agency.
CDC spokesperson Belsie Gonzalez said in a statement provided to The Epoch Times that seven members on a 15-person crew became sick during the first week of March.
The staff members, from the CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), had symptoms that included coughing, sore throat, headache, and nausea.
CDC team falls sick probing Ohio train derailmenthttps://t.co/RvVxIHq1Sp
— Truthseeker (@Xx17965797N) April 1, 2023
🚨 7 of 15 CDC workers assessing East Palestine chemical exposure got sick, NY Post reports pic.twitter.com/0lt3NCbUXp
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) April 3, 2023
Their symptoms, Gonzalez noted, were consistent with those reported by some East Palestine residents and first responders, whom the team was surveying to assess the potential health effects of their exposure to the chemicals released by the Feb. 3 derailment.
“Following protocol, team members reported the symptoms to federal safety officers,” she said.
“Symptoms resolved for most team members later the same afternoon, and everyone resumed work on survey data collection within 24 hours. Impacted team members have not reported ongoing health effects.”
Gonzalez added that the survey collection process, which started mid-February, will end on March 31.
“Once completed, CDC/ATSDR staff will analyze the data and provide it to state health officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania,” she said. “FEMA and EPA teams remain on the ground to support response efforts.”
The New York Post added:
Their mysterious illnesses come as government officials and representatives from Norfolk Southern, the company that operated the train, insist that the air and water in the small Ohio town were not compromised by the toxic spill.
The catastrophic incident forced residents to evacuate their homes as fires burned for days, prompting widespread panic and causing many locals to experience adverse health effects.
Many locals have expressed frustration over what they say has been a lack of real information.
Frustrated East Palestine Mayor Trent Conway also ripped President Biden for visiting Ukraine instead of the scene of the toxic train derailment, calling it “the biggest slap in the face.”
News of the strange sickness impacting CDC workers comes after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway Company on Thursday.
Court documents show the civil suit filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking damages for alleged violations to the Clean Water Act.
The Department of Justice released this statement Friday:
Today, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced a complaint against Norfolk Southern Corporation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk Southern) related to the Feb. 3, derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The complaint seeks penalties and injunctive relief for the unlawful discharge of pollutants, oil, and hazardous substances under the Clean Water Act, and declaratory judgment on liability for past and future costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
This action follows EPA’s issuance on Feb. 21, 2023 of a Unilateral Administrative Order under CERCLA to Norfolk Southern Railway Company requiring the company to develop and implement plans to address contamination and pay EPA’s response costs associated with the order.
“When a Norfolk Southern train derailed last month in East Palestine, Ohio, it released toxins into the air, soil, and water, endangering the health and safety of people in surrounding communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “With this complaint, the Justice Department and the EPA are acting to pursue justice for the residents of East Palestine and ensure that Norfolk Southern carries the financial burden for the harm it has caused and continues to inflict on the community.”
“From the very beginning, I pledged to the people of East Palestine that EPA would hold Norfolk Southern fully accountable for jeopardizing the community’s health and safety,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “No community should have to go through what East Palestine residents have faced. With today’s action, we are once more delivering on our commitment to ensure Norfolk Southern cleans up the mess they made and pays for the damage they have inflicted as we work to ensure this community can feel safe at home again.”
“Last month, the East Palestine community was upended by a horrific train derailment. By filing this complaint today, we are demanding accountability from Norfolk Southern for the harm this event has caused,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We will tirelessly pursue justice for the people living in and near East Palestine, who like all Americans deserve clean air, clean water, and a safe community for their children.”
“The United States Attorney’s Office stands with our district’s residents in pursuing accountability and justice in both the immediate and distant future, as we work together to deal with the damage and destruction this disaster has caused,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Baeppler for the Northern District of Ohio.