By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The vapors of vinyl chloride is the troublesome irritant that some people at a train derailment scene in Paulsboro, New Jersey may have been exposed to.
3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says 66 patients have gone to the hospital with symptoms.
The emergency room at Underwood Memorial Hospital has been busy today, after dozens of people arrived with health problems after possibly being exposed to vinyl chloride. The chemical is a colorless gas, with a mild sweet odor.
People transported by ambulance to the hospital wore contamination suits as they entered the hospital.
“My son was driving in to work this morning, he came through Paulsboro and he said that he thought something was burning. He said the police told him to turn around and he said I can’t even see in front of my face it’s so dark. Now all of a sudden he started passing out and feeling real sick and having a hard time breathing,” said Ron Morris Senior, of Deptford, New Jersey.
Vinyl chloride exposure symptoms include dizziness, lung irritation, trouble breathing, sleepiness, even unconsciousness.
Exposure to extremely high levels of the chemical can result in death.