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The Ohio Train Derailment: Impacts and Emerging Lessons
The derailment of the Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, OH on February 3, 2023, and the subsequent burning of chemicals contained in the train cars, released large quantities of hazardous chemicals into the environment. Affected communities face questions about both short- and long-term health and environmental effects of the chemicals generated by this disaster.

One of the chemicals released and burned was vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the building block from which polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic is made. VCM is a known human carcinogen, and PVC is associated with health and environmental hazards throughout its life cycle, from production through use and disposal. In addition to the communities affected directly by the derailment, many communities across the country face on-going health and environmental harms associated with PVC production.

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH will review the toxicity and environmental fate of the chemicals spilled, some of which were subsequently intentionally and unintentionally burned, creating conditions for creation of -- and community exposure to -- novel toxic compounds. He will summarize initial and subsequent government and community responses and ongoing challenges as the full extent of this event and its consequences are still unfolding.

Molly Jacobs, MPH will explore how, in addition to ensuring support and protections for affected communities, we can reduce our dependence on toxic chemicals and the manufacturing processes that generate them. She will discuss a recent editorial she and co-authors published in Scientific American and will briefly describe lessons from pollution prevention programs and new policy initiatives that are aiming to transform the chemical sector by attracting greater investment into safer and more sustainable products and processes.

This webinar will be moderated by Sharyle Patton, Director of the Biomonitoring Resource Center.

Mar 22, 2023 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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