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Government Researchers Fall Sick During Visit to East Palestine Spill

According to CNN, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers who visited East Palestine, Ohio, experienced symptoms like headaches and coughing while conducting a chemical exposure assessment last month. These symptoms are similar to what the town’s residents reported after the Feb. 3 train derailment and chemical leak. Seven team members fell ill during the assessment, despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) previously declaring the area safe.

However, a CDC spokesperson stated that the team’s symptoms resolved later that afternoon, and everyone returned to their work within 24 hours. The spokesperson also said that none of the exposed researchers had any prolonged health effects.

Moreover, the local residents’ experiences appear similar to those reported by the researchers in more than half of the Ohio residents surveyed for the CDC investigation.

In February, EPA administrator Michael Regan declared East Palestine’s air and water safe, and the transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, faced criticism for waiting nearly three weeks to visit the affected area after the train derailment. President Biden has yet to visit East Palestine himself, despite saying earlier this month that he intends to do so at some point. Instead, the president chose to visit Ukraine after the train disaster, sparking anger among Republican lawmakers.

However, both the EPA and Norfolk Southern Corporation, whose train derailed, recently stated that the air quality in Ohio and Pennsylvania remains safe, and residents’ health continues to be protected.

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