The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are preparing for the next phase of the Assessment of Chemical Exposure (ACE) investigation to assess the health impacts of the February 3 train derailment that occurred in East Palestine, Ohio. Starting this week, CDC and ATSDR will shift staff from the field to complete data analysis of the ACE investigation. CDC and ATSDR will continue to support the health departments in Ohio and Pennsylvania to address the public health needs of the region.
CDC and ATSDR have been providing technical assistance to local, state and federal partners from the beginning of the emergency event. On February 17, CDC and ATSDR staff began arriving in East Palestine and surrounding communities to assess the public health impact of the train derailment, among other activities. CDC and ATSDR collaborated with local, state and federal partners to conduct an ACE investigation of impacted communities in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. CDC, ATSDR, and our local, state and federal partners also launched a responder component of the ACE survey to collect information about the health of people who responded to the train derailment incident. This component allows responders to provide information about their unique exposures, experiences, and concerns. ACE investigations are rapid epidemiological assessments used to assess the impact of a chemical release on individuals as well as the community.
While CDC and ATSDR staff will be returning from the field, the ACE survey will remain online and data collection will continue until March 31. Over the next couple of months, CDC and ATSDR will work with the health departments to analyze data and share results. These results can be used by the states to help inform public health recommendations and lessons learned. CDC and ATSDR will continue to respond to requests for remote technical assistance for as long as needed.
For more information about CDC’s and ATSDR’s response to the East Palestine Train Derailment, visit: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/east-palestine-train-derailment/index.html.