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Protect Families from the Release of Harmful Chemical Gas

This month, a train derailed in the village of East Palestine, Ohio. It set off evacuation orders and a chemical scare. The release of vinyl chloride and ethylene glycol mono butyl ether in the air may attack our skin and eye. Here are some suggestions for protecting family members if you live close to East Palestine.

On 10th Feb, the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) said that about 20 rail cars were reported to have been carrying hazardous materials. Chemicals including vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethyl hexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol mono butyl ethers were “known to have been and continue to be” released to the air, surface soil, and surface waters, the E.P.A. said.

Air Pollution_Amir Hosseini_Unsplash

Source:Air Pollution_Amir Hosseini_Unsplash

1. Main pollution and their threats

(1) Vinyl Chloride

Being exposed to vinyl chloride can affect a person's liver, kidney, lung, spleen, nervous system, and blood. It may also stimulate things such as epinephrine, which may result in ventricular fibrillation.

(2) Ethylene glycol mono butyl ether

Being prolonged or repeatedly exposure exposed to ethylene glycol mono butyl ether may cause damage to organssuch as the thymus, and the immune system. People face the risk of aspiration upon vomiting. Aspiration may cause pulmonary edema and pneumonitis.

(3) Ethylhexyl acrylate
The ethylhexyl acrylate may cause serious eye irritation.

2. Advised Tips

(1) Move away from the core area of the leak as soon as possible, if you are living close to the village of East Palestine, Ohio. You can move back after confirming that there is no exposure risk.

Wear a Mask_Atoms_Unsplash

Source:Wear a Mask_Atoms_Unsplash

(2) Minimize going outside, if possible, wear a mask or gas mask with activated carbon.

(3) Wash your hands and any exposed body parts with neutral soap/detergent after going back home. Don't forget to change and wash clothes if clothes are also exposed to the air.

Source:smartmi air purifier P1

Source:smartmi air purifier P1

(4) Close windows and doors at home and use an air purifier indoors. If you're an owner of a smartmi air purifier, you may find that the VOC value increased. Don't worry, the activated carbon in the air purifier filter can absorb and remove VOC. (If you want to know more about VOC, check our blog: What is TVOC?).

(5) When you feel unwell, seek medical attention ASAP.

Protect ourselves and our families during this difficult time.