Expert expanding testing of air filters in East Palestine

  • East Palestine residents say they're still falling ill after a train crash
  • An independent expert will continue testing air filters in people's homes
  • The community has laid out demands for state and local officials

(NewsNation) — As East Palestine residents residents laid out demands for officials at a community meeting Tuesday night, an independent soil and water testing expert was on hand to announce a new study to test people’s blood samples and expand his testing of air filters.

Scott Smith, chief sustainability officer at ECO Integrated Technologies, Inc., recently found nine new dioxins in the soil, water and in people’s air filters in the town that was exposed to toxic chemicals following a train derailment in February.

“This is trying to help the community understand what you might have been breathing in, and instead of cutting your chest open and taking a biopsy of your lung, the next best thing are filters,” he told residents at a Tuesday night meeting.

There, residents made new demands to rail company Norfolk Southern and state and federal officials. Months after the derailment, residents say they’re still getting sick and want more answers and help.

Upon examining her air filter, Smith told resident Krissy Ferguson: “This is probably the worst filter I have seen to date.”

Ferguson wants to see her town safe again but says, “I’m not sure my home ever would be.”

“I thought that we could come back. But every night that I would lay down to sleep, I would have to worry. Am I making my family sick?” she said.

She pleaded for Gov. Mike DeWine to help, such as by declaring a state of emergency.

“Our federal government could help so much if he would just call out to them,” she said.

DeWine’s office told NewsNation even if a disaster area was declared, it would be largely symbolic because FEMA has said they won’t approve it because they want someone else to pay for it, namely Norfolk Southern.

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