Train Derailment

Information regarding impacts of East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment

Last updated: 2/23/2023 

There has been an increased interest regarding possible health impacts of air quality here in Pennsylvania resulting from the burning of the hazardous material vinyl chloride from tank cars in East Palestine, Ohio. 

Lancaster County is interested about the health of their residents because vinyl chloride can cause health problems depending on exposure dose and duration. Multiple symptoms including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches have been reported in persons living near train derailment locations involving vinyl chloride. 

Currently, several environmental monitoring agencies report no indications of airborne pollutants in the 25 miles that separate East Palestine from the monitored locations in Pennsylvania. Agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the Allegheny County Health Department have all been monitoring the air in Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Enhanced environmental monitoring is being conducted approximately 25 miles away from the incident location. It is unlikely that Lancaster County will experience any environmental effects. 

Up-to-date information regarding the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, and the possible effects on Pennsylvania communities, is available through official sources such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). 


Allegheny County. (2023). East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment Air Quality Monitoring.

National Transportation Safety Board. (2023). Norfolk Southern Railway Derailment with Subsequent Hazardous Material Release and Fires. 

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. (2023). Online Train Derailment Dashboard.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2023). East Palestine Train Derailment Emergency Response