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A few residents from East Palestine, Ohio, claim to have experienced sore throats, rashes, nausea, and headaches following their return home this week. They’re concerned that these symptoms could be caused by the release of chemicals following the derailment of a train about two weeks back.

The fire that occurred on February 3 was an enormous fire that prompted officials to evacuate hundreds of residents who resided near the area due to fears that a highly hazardous and explosive material could ignite. To stop a potentially fatal explosion, the deadly Vinyl chloride gas sprayed and ignited, creating the black smoke that covered the town for several days.

Other substances that are of concern on the site include hydrogen chloride and phosgene, that release when vinyl chloride is broken down in butylacrylate; monobutyl ether acetate of ethylene glycol as well as 2-ethylhexylacrylate in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency. The chemical mixtures can alter when they are broken down in reaction with substances in the environment, resulting in an array of potentially harmful substances.

Residents were given all-clear for returning to their homes on February 8, after the monitoring of air quality throughout East Palestine did not detect any hazardous chemicals.

Officials say that further tests of the indoor air quality in the homes of about 500 people have not found any health risks. The tests of tap water that came from the municipal system did not detect any chemical levels that be a health risk however, officials are testing the water coming from streams, rivers, and wells for residential use in the region.

The results of these tests have failed to calm some residents who complain that they are sick, even if the authorities cannot find the cause.

“I’m not willing to put your family’s health’

“When we got back to the house on October 10th of November, it was the day we decided we could not raise our kids in this house,” Amanda Greathouse said. There was a horrible scent which “reminded me of the hair perming solutions.”

Greathouse stated that she was back in their home approximately a block away from the site of the crash, for about 30 minutes, after which she began to develop nausea and a rash.

“When we left, I developed an outbreak of skin rash on my arm. my eyes burned for a few days following the incident,” said Greathouse, who has two preschoolers.

The couple has visited their home just two times since the derailment to retrieve documents and clothes.

“The scent of the chemical was so intense it made me feel nauseated,” Greathouse said. “I just wanted to get items I needed before leaving. I only picked up a few items of clothing because the clothes smelled of chemicals and I’m not sure if I should apply them to my kids.”

She also says that she’s not allowed her children to attend preschool following the derailment. Even the fact that her son’s teacher assured her that the students have only water from bottled bottles She’s concerned about other forms of contamination.

“I am not ready to let my son from the school they’re at because I love the teachers he’s had but I’m scared. Teachers have also expressed concerns regarding the quality of air,” Greathouse said.

“We are blessed to be able to rent our house. I didn’t imagine that I’d declare this. I am so sorry to my landlord. But I cannot risk the health of my family.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said a request for medical experts from the US Department of Health and Human Services was granted officials are expected to arrive by the beginning of next week to help set up the facility for the patients.

“We know that the science suggests that the water is safe, the air is also safe. However, we are also aware that it is well that the residents in East Palestine are concerned,” the official said on Friday.

DeWine announced that he is planning to establish a clinic in which HHS staff and other officials can be able to answer questions, analyze symptoms and offer medical assistance.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry which is an affiliate of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also announcing it anticipates having an investigator on the site on Monday according to an CDC spokesperson who asked that they not be named as they weren’t authorized to disclose the information. The team will be conducting the Assessment of Chemical Exposure investigation which will examine the effect of chemical exposure on the people who live in it and their communities.

The volatile organic substances produced by the controlled explosion may trigger symptoms that are similar to those experienced by a few East Palestine residents, including headache, sore throat and irritation to the eyes and nose But experts warn that it’s very difficult to couple the exposure to chemicals to health-related effects.

“That is a huge issue,” says Erin Haynes Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Kentucky.

“The community is being exposed to many volatile organic compounds made from petroleum and it could not be one only or the mixture of themall,” Haynes said.

Haynes who has worked in conducting studies on the effects of toxic exposure in communities, seeks approval from the school’s Institutional Review Board to start research within East Palestine to help give residents more details about their exposure to chemicals in air, water and the soil.

“They require every assistance they will receive,” she said. “This is an emergency that is major. This is a massive catastrophe. They require all assistance that we can offer.

“The evidence of exposure to toxic substances could be itching,” she said.

Looking for answers

Audrey DeSanzo would like some answers, too.

“How is it safe, is it really?” said DeSanzo, who lives just one-half mile from the incident with her two elementary-school-age kids. “It’s not all over the heads of these people who are experiencing rashes, experiencing conjunctivitis, pinkeye from the chemical exposure.”

“You suffer from an sore throat while you’re in this place. The air smells a bit sour there.”

Following the accident, DeSanzo evacuated with her children right over the state line to Pennsylvania in the state of Pennsylvania, where her uncle lived in an empty duplex. They lay on the floor and the couch.

After returning home this week DeSanzo says she air-conditioned her home and changed the furnace filter, and washed their sheets and clothing. However, she adds that they’ve all been to a local urgent medical clinic since her children were coughing as well as “our throats were swollen.”

The tests for strep throat came back positive. Doctors prescribed cough medicines for the children and advised DeSanzo to expect that chemicals could be responsible.

The doctor stated that she’d observed a variety of East Palestine residents with similar symptoms, DeSanzo said, and suggested they contact poison control and then go to the local hospital to have the blood test. The doctor hasn’t had the test for blood yet.

Debbie Pietrzak, a spokesperson for Salem Regional Medical Center, who runs the clinic DeSanzo attended, confirmed that it has seen only a handful of residents who have symptoms such as breathing problems and sore throats. The emergency room at the hospital has seen less than 10 people in East Palestine, she said.

“Our centers and our primary healthcare professionals are ready to assist anyone seeking medical attention and we’re working closely in conjunction with the county’s Health Department and other local government agencies, as well as federal and state that are keeping an eye on the situation,” Pietrzak said in an email.

Natalie Rine, a pharmacist who is the director of the Central Ohio Poison Center, said that the state’s poison prevention centers are receiving requests for help from East Palestine residents, too. The specialists who run the help lines are educated in toxicology and are able to assist in cases where chemicals are considered to be a health risk.

DeSanzo states she would like to leave , but she’s not able to. The mortgage she has is around $400 per month, which is less than half of homes she’s found in the region which are further away from the site of the accident.

“I earn $14 per hour. Where do I take my money?” she said. “I would rather not be here right now my children.”

In spite of assurances residents don’t want to be sure they’ll return

Ayla as well as Tyler Antoniazzi and their two daughters have lived within East Palestine since April. Following the train accident they were unsure whether they should leave, Ayla says, but they’re looking into the possibility.

Antoniazzis Antoniazzis return to their home just a mile away from the scene of the accident following the day their evacuation warning was removed.

“Before taking my kids back to their homes I washed all the linen as well as a plethora of clothes, scrubbed surfaces and air-conditioned the house,” Ayla said. “But the next day , when they awoke in the morning, they weren’t. My oldest was swollen across her skin. The younger one also had a rash, but not as badly. Two-year-old girl was holding her eye , and complained that her eye was hurting. She was extremely tired and I had to take them back at my parent’s house.”

Ayla states that her daughters reside together with their parents at Leetonia which is located about 20 minutes to the west to East Palestine, until the couple can ensure that their home is secure.

The children’s symptoms became better after Leetonia She said that they improved however, one of them developed a second skin rash when she went back at school East Palestine on February 13.

“I let my four-year-old to go back to preschool, that is located at the East Palestine Elementary School. She came back to school for two weeks, and was diagnosed with a new rash on her hands. She then began complaining of itching. I dragged her back out.” Ayla said.

Ayla is scheduled to have a doctor’s appointment with her daughters next week , to discuss their health issues and test options, she explained.

It’s the best way to go, says the Dr. Kari Nadeau, an allergist and chair of Department of Environmental Health at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health.

Nadeau states that rashes, sore throats and headaches may be symptoms of an sensitivity to chemicals.

“There are those who are extremely sensitive to chemical substances and feel it before a monitor is able to detect it,” Nadeau said. “There’s no definitive method of identifying chemical sensitivities. Most of the time, it’s an indication of clinical symptoms such as the appearance of rashes.”

Nadeau and other experts on environmental health recommend those who have symptoms to consult the doctor mostly for medical treatment but also to ensure that their situation can be recorded.

“So that if there’s any clusters, or there’s a large group of people who suddenly complain of an outbreak of rash or symptoms which really aids doctors to work with institutions such as the CDC to do a more research,” she said.

CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia was a contributor to this story.