East Palestine updates air quality info
EPA officials unveiled updates Tuesday on the air quality in East Palestine and throughout the Mahoning Valley.
In the past 24 hours, 21 News received dozens of complaints about the smell of chemicals in the air. The EPA tells us they're continuing to pay close attention to those air levels in and around the area.
"There were no measurable toxins when we got out there," explained Robin Lees, Deputy Director with the Mahoning County EMA.
The EPA, Mahoning County EMA, and other safety officials spent the day collecting air quality readings not only in East Palestine but throughout the region as many living in the Mahoning Valley smelled a chlorine-like scent in the air.
This comes after a controlled release of toxic chemicals from 5 of the derailed train cars in East Palestine.
"We got monitored through the duration of the night throughout the burn and following the burn," said Jame Justice with the EPA.
EPA told 21 News they did not see any air quality levels outside or inside the 1-mile safety radius.
"We did respond to a number of concerns of people noticing odors of smoke in other areas and we sent teams to collect readings there," Justice added. "We didn't find any levels of concern there."
The Mahoning County EMA explained if you smell chemicals in the air, that doesn't mean you're in danger.
"You may smell smoke from a fire and you might not even be able to see where that fire is," Lees explained. "Does that mean you're going to be adversely affected by that smoke? No. This is kind of the same thing."
EPA said Tuesday evening the detection of harmful air quality remains low within the 1 mile radius. The National Guard says lung irritation could be possible with the air contamination but it's unknown if the explosion is what's to blame.
"Basically, use your common sense," Lees added. "I don't think we're going to experience a problem. There really shouldn't be any issue at this point."
The agency will continue to monitor air quality levels within the one mile evacuation zone.
As of Tuesday evening, crews do not know when displaced families will be able to return to their homes.