Erin Brockovich urges East Palestine residents to document their health issues

Some local citizens claim that since the accident, they have suffered from bronchitis, skin rashes, and lung diseases.

Activist Erin Brockovich recommended that residents of East Palestine (Ohio) document the health problems they are experiencing as a result of the Feb. 3 derailment of the Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals. FOX News reported that since the accident many residents have been dealing with bronchitis, skin rashes and lung diseases, among other symptoms.

The attorney urged East Palestine residents to keep a record of any symptoms they believe came as a result of the incident. On Friday, February 24, during a speech at the town's town hall, which was attended by more than 2,700 people concerned about the situation following the toxic spill, she said:

You need to be vigilant you need to journal, you need to document information. I will be talking tonight because we want you to get information that you can take home, so you're better informed, so you have a better understanding.

The activist assured, in a statement reported by Univision, that she understood the anguish experienced by some citizens, whom she urged to act without fear, since the authorities will try to reassure them and tell them that everything is fine:

They want to be heard, but they're going to told you that it's safe, they're going to told you not to worry. That's silly, because you're going to worry. Communities want to be seen and heard. Don't wait for someone to give you the answers. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. This is going to be a long game.

Several residents of East Palestine report symptoms

Since February 3, many residents have reported to the media about the health problems they began to experience after the train derailment. One of them was Melissa Blake. She told her NBC News about her experience.

The resident, who lives just under a mile from the site of the incident, said that as a result of the toxic spill she had begun to cough up gray mucus and now suffers from various respiratory problems. After this, Blake recounts, she was diagnosed with "acute bronchitis due to chemical fumes: "They gave me a breathing machine. They put me on oxygen. They gave me three types of steroids," said the citizen who does not dare to return home for fear of suffering more medical problems.

The same media outlet reported the testimony of Howard Yang. He is a manager at CeramFab, a manufacturing company located near the site of the train derailment. Senior management decided to close the company for safety reasons and resumed operations on February 13. However, two days later, five of its ten workers were discharged after suffering various symptoms. They were not able to return to work until Tuesday, February 21:

People ended up with rashes, nausea, vomiting, bloody nose, eye issues. A lot of coughing, wheezing. We sent a lot of workers to the hospital to get checked out and, sure enough, in most cases, it was a diagnosis of ‘chemical bronchitis.’ They were put on five different kinds of pills, including steroids. Some guys have to use inhalers. It’s pretty bad.

The cases don’t end there. Lonnie Miller, a 30-year resident of East Palestine, said she has a rash on her face and has experienced dizziness and burning eyes as a result of the toxic spill. While Melissa Boyera who lives less than 250 feet from the site of the incident, told NBC News that her 19-year-old daughter has to use an inhaler several times a day. She criticized the authorities’ lack of interest in the matter: "How can you say our air quality or our water is safe when we're having all these people with these symptoms and health issues?" she asked.