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NTSB to finalize major federal report on tragic Ohio train derailment disaster that burned cancer-causing chemical, vinyl chloride

Media Advisory

NTSB to finalize major federal report on tragic Ohio train derailment disaster that burned cancer-causing chemical, vinyl chloride

What: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will meet and finalize its report and recommendations on the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Investigation in East Palestine, Ohio, according to NTSB’s Media Advisory.

Who: NTSB investigative staff and board members

When: Tuesday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Where:  Livestream: NTSB YouTube channel. Or in-person: East Palestine High School, 360 West Grant Street, East Palestine, OH 44413.

Why: The Ohio train derailment highlights the serious hazards of making and transporting vinyl chloride. Vinyl chloride is the key ingredient in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, commonly used in building materials, packaging, children’s toys, and other consumer products.

Toxic-Free Future is highlighting this media opportunity because from production, transport, use, to disposal, vinyl chloride and PVC pose serious threats to human health and the environment, exposing low-income communities and communities of color, workers, and consumers to dangerous chemicals. 

Earlier this year, research published by Toxic-Free Future and Material Research revealed for the first time that up to 36 million pounds of vinyl chloride travels on more than 200 rail cars across nearly 2,000 miles of U.S. railways at any given moment. These shipments supply PVC plastics factories from across the country and in Canada. Over the course of a year, an estimated 8,595 rail cars carry approximately 1.5 billion pounds of vinyl chloride from OxyVinyls, the nation’s top producer of the chemical, to these plastics plants. The rail shipment of vinyl chloride to make PVC plastic puts more than three million people at risk, including communities from Texas to New Jersey. A 2023 Toxic-Free Future report revealed the plastics industry produces more than 10 billion pounds of vinyl chloride annually in the U.S., often releasing these chemicals in low-income communities and communities of color. Further, Toxic-Free Future has identified safer alternatives to PVC that are readily available.

In advance of the NTSB news, Toxic-Free Future’s director of Mind the Store, Mike Schade, stated, “The vinyl chloride disaster that struck East Palestine last year is a painful reminder of the dangers of PVC plastic. Our research has shown that this was not an isolated incident, and that it is only a matter of time before another community is harmed once again by this cancer-causing chemical. While rail reform is critically important, it is also essential to advance common sense governmental and corporate policies to ban vinyl chloride and PVC, the poison plastic. Home improvement stores carry numerous products and packaging made from PVC. Corporations, including the world’s largest home improvement chain, The Home Depot can help turn the tide on PVC plastic pollution by phasing out this poison plastic and transitioning to safer materials. We also need action at all levels of government. States like Washington and California are now considering regulations and laws to ban vinyl chloride and PVC. At the federal level, it’s time for the EPA to ban vinyl chloride once and for all. We owe it to the people of East Palestine, Ohio and surrounding communities to ensure no other community has to suffer like this again.”

“Vinyl chloride incidents happen once every 5.3 days,” said Jess Conard, Beyond Plastics Appalachia director and an East Palestine, Ohio, resident. “As the community thoughtfully prepares for the NTSB’s final report, we are both hopeful and confident to receive the confirmation that this was a preventable train derailment and unnecessary chemical disaster. Moving forward, this report will serve as a catalyst of change to show that choosing profits over people is favorable for no one. We now recognize that the problems here are not unique or solitary, they are systemic and vast.”

For additional information and interviews with our staff experts, contact Stephanie Stohler at [email protected] 


Using deep policy and advocacy expertise, Beyond Plastics is building a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet and ourselves, from the negative health, climate, and environmental impacts of the production, usage, and disposal of plastics.


Toxic-Free Future is a national leader in environmental health research and advocacy. Through the power of science, education, and activism, Toxic-Free Future drives strong laws and corporate responsibility that protects the health of all people and the planet.


Media Contact

Stephanie Stohler

[email protected]

Press Contact

Stephanie Stohler, [email protected]

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