Over the course of the last three weeks, residents of East Palestine, Ohio have been trying to draw attention to the plight of their tight knit community.
On February 3rd, a train derailment quickly became an ecological nightmare after cleanup crews made the decision to perform a controlled explosion on tanker cars containing vinyl chloride – a toxic chemical used in the production of PVC pipe.
Within days, residents were complaining of irritated eyes and throats, and of pets and livestock succumbing to mysterious illnesses.
Now, one man claims that his entire voice has changed dramatically.
Wade Lovett’s been having trouble breathing since the Feb. 3 Norfolk South train derailment and toxic explosion here. In fact, his voice sounds as if he’s been inhaling helium.
The illness has been tough to diagnose.
“Doctors say I definitely have the chemicals in me but there’s no one in town who can run the toxicological tests to find out which ones they are,” Lovett, 40, an auto detailer, said in an extremely high-pitched voice. “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. I lost my job because the doctor won’t release me to go to work.”
Despite his health woes, Lovett and his fiancée, Tawnya Irwin, 45, spent last Thursday delivering bottled water to locals. They picked up new cases outside a home on East Clark Street which has become the heart of East Palestine’s homegrown campaign to fight back against the forces that upended the lives of roughly 4,700 residents and their animals.
After weeks of advocacy, the EPA finally stepped in to monitor Norfolk Southern’s cleanup of the dangerous site, as well as to continually test the environment in and around East Palestine for toxic substances.
Video of Lovett explaining the change in his voice can be seen below.
Ohio man Wade Lovett’s been having trouble breathing since the February 3 Norfolk South train derailment. His voice sounds like he’s been inhaling helium. His symptoms are mirror those of pulmonary edema, serious versions of which can be caused by exposure to certain chemicals. pic.twitter.com/S2sUNL17DW
— Libertarian Party Mises Caucus (@LPMisesCaucus) February 27, 2023
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