contaminants update – vinyl chloride in OHIO, USA

Last week in Eastern Ohio, USA there was an unfortunate train derailment and a Chemical known as “Vinyl Chloride” was released. We have picked up various social media chat and comments on this topic and thought it useful and helpful to provide a summary as well as the performance of Coldstream filters with regards to the chemical in question.


This lab-made chemical is a common one used in making plastics, namely PVC for the ubiquitous pipes inside homes and buildings. It’s a volatile organic compound, a group of chemicals that people are exposed to every day, whether it’s while standing at the gas pump, burning wood, or, especially, smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke.

We understand the Environmental protection agency “EPA”is monitoring levels of toxins from the spill and says that current levels are not harmful, however the health consequences of the event are unclear. As of Feb. 16, the EPA said that “air monitoring has not detected any levels of health concern in the community that are attributed to the train derailment.” The agency also hasn’t detected any contamination in the more than 500 houses surveyed. It’s not clear yet what effect the spill has had in the soil or water.

Coldstream filters performance in removal of Vinyl Chloride;

EPA guidelines allow no more than 2µg/L of vinyl chloride in drinking water and our testing has been performed with an influent of ~20µg/L. The Coldstream FTO+ (CF163W) has a removal capacity of >99.5% at 3000L, reducing vinyl chloride to <0.1µg/L. The Coldstream Max (CF521W) has a removal capacity of >99.4% at 10000L, reducing vinyl chloride to <0.1µg/L. The “<0.1µg/L” quoted is in reference to the lowest detectable limit for that machine, indicating that the true value is between 0-0.1µg/L.

Anyone with concerning signs or symptoms should contact the National Capital Poison Center at or by phone at 1-800-222-1222. Local residents who are experiencing anxiety and stress can call the Ohio Careline at 1-800-720-9616 to receive free, confidential support from a trained specialist.