Statement from DHMH on Train Derailment in Baltimore County
BALTIMORE (May 28, 2013) -- Health officials at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have spoken with emergency management officials in Baltimore County and representatives of CSX to assess potential health concerns from the train derailment in Baltimore County. Our initial assessment is that the risk to the general public is low. This initial assessment is based upon the following:
We understand the primary chemicals potentially involved are terephthalic acid and sodium chlorate – neither should produce an imminent hazard to the general public.
Reports of preliminary monitoring from the site do not indicate the presence of highly toxic chemicals.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene supports current recommendations for the public, including avoiding direct exposure to smoke. This is especially important for people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).