Voice changes and shortness of breath: strange symptoms reported by East Palestine residents after train derailment

"My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low. It’s hard to breathe, especially at night," said one local.

Since the derailment of the Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio which caused toxic chemicals to be released into the local soil, water and air, several residents have complained of experiencing health problems including strange voice changes and breathing failures.

Wade Lovett, a 40-year-old resident, told the New York Post that since February 25 he has been having difficulty breathing and his voice sounds like he is constantly inhaling helium.

"My voice sounds like Mickey Mouse. My normal voice is low. It’s hard to breathe, especially at night. My chest hurts so much at night I feel like I’m drowning. I cough up phlegm a lot," he said.

Lovett stated that he went to a health center for a check-up and that the doctors told him that the symptoms are due to toxic chemicals in his system, but he cannot prove it because "there’s no one in town who can run the toxicological tests" to find out which chemicals they are. The resident also commented that he lost his job due to the doctor not letting him work.

Shelby Walker, another citizen who lives in close proximity to where the train derailed, also reported that she is experiencing a variety of symptoms of discomfort since the incident.

"I lost my smell and my sense of taste. I had an eye infection in both eyes. I was having respiratory issues like I was just out of breath. Other members of my family have had eye infections and strep throat," she said.

Like these residents, other people in the area have reported nausea, headaches and rashes on their skin in various areas, and researchers recently reported that exposure to several of the chemicals released during the derailment can cause long-term health problems. But despite all this, the authorities assure that the levels of the chemicals are below levels of concern.