US officials lie about air safety after Ohio train derailment: The Guardian

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U.S. officials lied about the safety of air and water following the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio in early February that led to chemical spills, an opinion piece carried by The Guardian said on Monday.

In the article written by Greg Mascher, a local resident, he recalled that officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said a couple of days after the accident that they did not detect any contaminants in the air, which were false assurances.

"But my granddaughters had developed blotches all over their bodies. They looked like burns, as if they'd spent too much time next to a sun lamp. My seven-year-old granddaughter's leg was beet-red. They were coughing and their eyes were burning. I began to experience constant headaches and a nagging cough," he said.

Five days after the accident, authorities lifted the evacuation order, with the EPA saying its testing showed that the air and water were safe.

"We didn't trust that assessment. Part of my family went to a relative's house in West Virginia. Each time I've gone to East Palestine to check on my house my headaches start again," he said.

"It's now been six weeks since the wreck. I dread night-time because when I lie down to sleep the constant coughing starts. My wife of 35 years woke me up recently because my breathing was so bad; she said I sounded like I had fluid in my lungs. Other people are having similar experiences. The ER doctors say it is chemical bronchitis," he continued.

He said he doesn't believe the government or railway company's claims that the town is safe. "You hate to say that they're lying, but they are. Some families don't plan to come back at all. That breaks my heart. We have such a tight-knit community here."

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