Learning about dioxin the hard way. Demand split samples in Ohio. My guest is Carol van Strum.

After nine tanker cars loaded with vinyl chloride or vinyl chloride (along with six others) burned, there are still no dioxin tests from East Palestine. This is the “don’t look, don’t find, not there” method of testing.

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Program notes are on Substack. More resources below.

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Update, Sat. Feb. 18 — We’ve been trying to determine who is responsible for the decision to dump and burn the vinyl chloride. First, EPA’s National Response Center was notified of the derailment and spill about two hours after it happened. So they are in a “knew or should have known” position regarding what was happening immediately.

Up until Monday. Feb. 6, there appears to have been an evacuation recommendation, but on that day the governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania upgraded it to an evacuation order, to accommodate the dump and burn decision. The question is, at what point did the known degradation byproducts enter the scenario? Was dioxin in the discussion? This is what we are now working to establish; it may take a while, as we will need to use the FOIA. — efc

Update, Sun., Feb. 19 — I have read the letter from Pennsylvania’s governor to Norfolk Southern, in which he said that the railroad refused to participate in the coordinated response, and acted behind the back of government agencies in their decision to dump and burn the vinyl chloride monomer.

Dow Chemical’s secret internal study showing three-generation effects in rats. The EPA tried to keep this secret.

The Sanjour Memo, written by the great and good William Sanjour  — one among the few honest people in the EPA, who headed the reassessment of dioxin’s toxicity in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Kemner Brief, article by me — I will get the PDF soon.

Dioxin Critic Sued, article by me, from Lies of Our Times

The Secret History of Chemicals, earlier interview with Carol van Strum

This is a documentary about Times Beach, Missouri, a town which was used as a dioxin dump for many years. The town was eventually decommissioned, torn down, and its waste burned. It was turned into a park. It’s an excellent account of events; I learned many things I didn’t know. However, the health consequences are somewhat understated, especially those associated with hormone effects.


  1. I snapped a picture today of a cloud that had a strange, multi-colored sheen that mirrored colors we see emanating from the creeks and waterways in East Palestine, OH. I live in SW Colorado. Could it be the particulate matter has entered the jet stream and is now seeded in the clouds? I can send you the photo and video I shot today (3/6/23), if you’re interested.

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