In this part 2 of my series on the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, I want to offer some additional information on what to do to support your health if you are part of the community near the derailment, or in areas of the United States that may be affected by toxic chemicals from the crash.


Ohio Train

What Can You Do if You’ve Been Affected by the Ohio Train Disaster?

Let me start by saying this: You are not alone. I know this is extremely scary, and it is hard to know where to turn for help.

The consequences of Ohio Train derailment are still unfolding and we are dealing with a lot of unknowns.  People who are affected need to do everything they possibly can to protect their health, but it is also vital to stay connected with loved ones and the community. From what we see on the news, East Palestine is filled with wonderful people. As a community, you are stronger together – your best allies are your family and neighbors, so lean on each other during this time. Seek out free resources for spiritual and mental health, take advantage of information focused on this situation and your health (including these blogs). Most of all, continue letting the government know how they can best serve the community.

Here are some things to consider:


Document Everything

Watch your symptoms. Observe your environment. Document anything that seems out of the ordinary for you in regard to your health. This may be increased fatigue, headaches, skin rashes, digestive issues, or changes in breathing. It may be increased anxiety or depression — your mental health is important, don’t forget about it! It is normal to feel despair or anxiety in such tragic situations. There IS help out there.

Documenting everything in a clear and comprehensive diary will help your healthcare provider to be the teammate you need to improve your health. In the next sections, I will offer some strategies to protect you and your loved ones. If you need extra help from an Environmental Medicine doctor, I recommend checking out the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, where you can find a directory of doctors trained in dealing with these issues.



Relocation is one of the more obvious solutions, but it is also the most difficult. Most residents understandably cannot or do not want to just pack and leave. Home is a powerful place, and for many, thoughts of starting over anywhere else is overwhelming and daunting. However, if you have family or friends you can stay with temporarily, just getting away for a short time can help, especially if you are developing unusual symptoms.


Air Filtration

Given that many of these chemicals are gasses, air filtration systems should be used, if possible, to remove  these chemicals and other indoor pollutants from your home (44). There are a variety of air filtration systems available. Ideally, you want a whole house air filtration system. You can also buy room filters, which may be especially important for the bedroom.

I personally use the Air Doctor systems but I also like the IQ Air systems, and there are other great options. It’s important to look for a high-quality system with HEPA filtration so it can filter even the smallest indoor pollutants. Whatever system you choose, your air filtration system needs to be constantly running and you need to change the filters as recommended. If these options are not accessible, you may consider making your own Box Fan Air Filter (known as a Corsi Rosenthal Box Filter. (45).  It is easy to make, highly effective and much more affordable (less than $100) than many of the filtration systems mentioned above. Given the low cost of these home-made filters, you may want to put one in each bedroom and the main living areas.


Water Filtration

Filtering your drinking water is just as important as filtering your indoor air. Water filtration helps to remove chemicals from your tap water (46). However, filtering your drinking water is not enough. The chemicals we are talking about may burn and affect your skin and eyes. Your showers and faucets also need to be treated. A whole house water filtration system is the best option.

For drinking water, I recommend Aqua Tru and Berkey water filters. For your showers, Pelican water filters and Aquasana water filters are good options. Pentair uses the same technology as the Pelican filters and offers an excellent whole house water filter system. If cost is an issue, there are also some DIY water filtration options using activated charcoal, sand, and other readily available materials. Here is an article on how to make a DIY water filter – you can find more like this with a quick Google search. For drinking, you may also choose bottled mineral water as long as it’s not sourced from the area.


Ohio Train

Sauna and Sweating

Sweating is a fantastic way to reduce toxin burden through the skin (47, 48). It can help to detoxify by getting rid of solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Moving your body is the easiest and most accessible way to induce sweating (48). I recommend rebounding for several reasons. A rebounder is basically a small trampoline you can use in your home. Jumping up and down (rebounding) or doing workouts on your rebounder may increase cardiovascular fitness and strength at the same time. It not only supports sweating but also helps lymphatic flow and lymphatic cleansing (49, 50). If you don’t have a rebounder, any exercise that gets you sweating and breathing hard will help you detoxify. However, sauna is one of my favorite ways to improve sweating and detoxification through the skin.

Infrared sauna is a great option, if you have access to one. It is a special type of sauna that uses an infrared heater that releases a non-invasive light therapy called Far Infrared Technology (FIR) that can penetrate your skin up to 1.5 to 3 inches below the surface, supporting detoxification through sweating. Infrared saunas may be more effective at detoxifying than other types of saunas (51, 52), but any sauna that makes you sweat will work. Taking a shower and washing your body after sweating is critical to cleanse your skin of the toxins released through the sweat. You don’t want that toxin-filled sweat staying on your skin!

The YMCA in East Liverpool, OH has some saunas and steam rooms available, check it out here.


Hydrate Your Body

Hydration is incredibly important. Hydrating your body will support detoxification through sweating and urine. Additionally, fluid loss can occur due to vomiting and other digestive issues related to toxin exposure, and drinking extra water will help prevent dehydration (54, 55).

I recommend starting your day with 16 to 32 oz of purified water in the morning and drinking about a glass every hour. A good minimum to aim for is to drink half your body weight in ounces (for example, a person weighing 150 lbs will want to drink at least 75 ounces of water). If you are not feeling well, are working out, or sweating a lot, you may need to drink more. For additional hydration, you may add some green juices, green smoothies, hydrating vegetables and fruits, and herbal tea. If you find water boring, add some lemon, lime, basil, or mint!


Alkalize Your Urine

Alkalizing your urine may help with detoxification. Remember chemistry class? Alkaline is the opposite of acid. Processed foods and sugary drinks, such as sodas, tend to shift the body into a lower or more acidic pH range, which is not optimal for health. However, a diet rich in citrus fruits, legumes, and vegetables raises the pH and produces urine that is more alkaline. Most toxic chemicals are more readily excreted when the urine is alkaline than when it is acidic, and there is research to support this idea (56).


Healthy green tea

Green and Black Tea

Green and black tea contain high levels of polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are plant compounds that fight inflammation, oxidative stress, and may improve the fecal excretion of persistent organic pollutants, like dioxins (58, 59, 60).


Intestinal Binding Agents

Intestinal binding agents, sometimes called toxin binders or simply binders, are various substances that chemically or mechanically stick to toxins so they can be eliminated from the body. Activated charcoal, bentonite clay, bioactive carbons, chitsan, and chlorella may be effective for removing toxins, pesticides, and toxic metals.(61, 62, 63, 64, 65). Diatomaceous earth (DE) may help to reduce toxicity from various toxins, including mold toxins, such as aflatoxin and zearalenone (66). And pectin may help to reduce the toxic levels of lead in children (67). Many of these are available in stores or online, and are fairly inexpensive. If you want to get your detoxing through food, a compound in many plants called chlorophyll can reduce the toxicity of dioxin, so eat plenty of kale, bok choy, green lettuce, sweet pepper, cabbage, seaweeds, and broccoli (69, 70).


Colon Hydrotherapy and Coffee Enemas

Coffee enemas can be practiced at home. Anecdotally, hydrotherapy and coffee enemas support elimination (yes – pooping), which is the most important step of detoxification. Colon hydrotherapy helps to flush out toxins from the colon with water. It is practiced in safe therapeutic settings with a trained professional. Coffee enemas encourage the flow of bile, which can bind toxins and promote their release in stool (71).


Cruciferous vegetables

Nutritional Supplementation for Supporting Liver Detoxification

Your liver is your largest detoxifying organ. It supports your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps to remove waste and toxins from your body. Exposure to environmental toxins may compromise the health and function of your liver. Compromised liver health may not only slow detoxification but may increase chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and the risk of various health issues (72).

Liver detoxification happens in 2 phases, but what you need to know are that there are several foods that support the liver:

  • Protein
    • High-quality, preferably grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, eggs, and organ meats
    • Plant-based proteins – hemp seeds, chia seeds, bean, lentils, and whole grains
  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc
  • Leafy green vegetables – kale, mustard greens, chard, spinach, lettuces, seaweed
  • Sulfur-containing plants – garlic, leeks, onion, shallots
  • Healthy fats – avocado, virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee

Eating a colorful diet with plenty of vegetables is key, but it can also be helpful to know what foods hinder detoxification:

  • Processed food – the many chemicals and additives may slow or block some of the detox process
  • Gluten – I could write a whole post on this (and I will!) but suffice it to say that Western wheat is treated or contaminated with chemicals that aren’t good for optimal health
  • Many vegetables oils – canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.


Supplements and vitamins with medicinal herbs. Selective focus.

Nutrients and supplements I recommend to support detoxification:

1. NAC

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that helps to replenish your body’s glutathione levels. Glutathione is important in all phases of detoxification and is consider the body’s “master antioxidant.” NAC is an antioxidant itself and less expensive than taking glutathione. I recommend 1800 mg of NAC daily.

2. Amino Acids

Amino acids are building blocks of protein. Glycine, taurine, and glutamine are 3 amino acids I recommend taking for supporting the removal of many of the toxic chemicals released like the VOCs and solvents plus they all help to build glutathione. I recommend 1 to 3 grams each daily. You can buy them individually or consider Cardio BP which is a great supplement for cardiovascular health that includes taurine and others. GI Support is a great gut support supplement with glutamine and other nutrients.

3. SAMe

S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e) is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. It  supports the health of cell membranes, hormonal health, detoxification and liver health (80). I recommend anywhere from 400 mg up to 800 mg twice a day. A good option is MethylForce Plus with SAM-e, glycine, and B vitamins.

4. Glutathione

I’ve already talked about the amazing benefits and importance of glutathione. While NAC can replenish glutathione easily and inexpensively, taking glutathione directly is also a great option. I recommend using Tri-Fortify Liposomal Glutathione.

5. B vitamins

B vitamins support the process your body uses to create energy from food. Fish, poultry, eggs, meat, green vegetables, peas, and beans are great sources of vitamin B. Vitamin B12 is beneficial for liver health (83) and for reducing oxidative stress (84) and inflammation (85). I recommend Methyl B Complex for B vitamin support and another supplement that I already mentioned, MethylForce Plus with B vitamins, SAM-e, and glycine.

6. Magnesium

Magnesium is my favorite mineral! It is important for muscle health, nerve function, normal blood pressure levels, and immune system health and of course, liver detoxification. Magnesium needs vary from person to person. The broad range is 200 mg/day to 1200 mg/day. I recommend taking Vital Magnesium daily.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most studied spices for inflammation and antioxidant support. The power of turmeric comes from its active compound, curcumin. Turmeric may support detoxification, reduces inflammation and offers antioxidant benefits (88)  (89).

8. Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant flavonoid found in grapes, apples, blueberries, cranberries, black plums, cherries, cruciferous vegetables, peppers, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, kale, cabbage, chicory green, red onions, snap peas, asparagus, sprouts, various herbs, and olive oil. It is naturally histamine-reducing, offers antioxidant benefits, supports immune health and detoxification, and may help to reduce inflammation (90, 100). I recommend Pure Quercetin.

9. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a natural plant compound found in the skin of grapes, red wine, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and pistachios. It may help detoxification and reduce inflammation (101, 102). Resvoxitrol has resveratrol and turmeric, but for a triple threat of turmeric, quercetin, and resveratrol, check out Anti-InflamX.

9. Phosphatidylcholine

Although not specifically supporting the phases of detoxification in the liver, I love phosphatidylcholine. It’s a chemical found in eggs, sunflowers, soybean, mustard, and other foods, as well as in your cells. Research shows it supports detoxification and the restoration of cellular function after toxin exposure, plus it supports brain function, mucosal health (the mucous membranes in your body), and mitochondrial health (the powerhouse of your cells) (103, 104, 105).

I want to leave you with one cool story about NAC: One of my colleagues who practices in Dallas, Texas, recognized that nearly all of her patients were at risk for high levels of environmental toxicants, especially toxic metals, so she put every single one of her 5000 patients on NAC 1800 mg. When she dropped her hospitalization rate by 50%, an Insurance company called her to find out what her secret was. She hadn’t even realized what benefits her patients were experiencing! This story shows that using the right nutritional strategies may help your body to fight toxins and help to regain your health!


Healthy organic green food

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

This goes without saying, but following a healthy diet and lifestyle is critical for supporting detoxification, reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, and decreasing your risk of health problems.

When our world has been turned upside down, the last thing most of us want to do is to eat vegetables and exercise. I get it! So let’s take it one step at a time, in fact let’s take it 1% at a time. Each day, try to incorporate 1% more than the day before. It may be 1% more water intake or 1% more green vegetables with each meal. Small, manageable steps are the best way forward. Begin by taking one supplement, one walk, or doing one minute of meditation or deep breathing. Wherever you choose to start is perfect – because it is a start – and sometimes that is the hardest part.

My Recommendation

I recommend following an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense diet full of greens, vegetables, fruits, sprouts, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry, and pasture-raised eggs. Support your gut microbiome balance with prebiotic-rich foods (that means lots of fiber!), probiotic-rich fermented foods, probiotic supplements, and sulfur MSM. Choose organic whenever available. I recommend checking out this article on boosting your micronutrient status through diet and supplementation.

Eventually, our goal is to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night. Move your body regularly throughout the day. Aim to exercise five days a week for 20 to 30 minutes at least using a mix of cardiovascular and strength-training workouts. Again, these can seem like an impossibility right now but if we start small and add only 1% more a day we can get there!

Be sure to reduce your exposure to other environmental toxins that you do have control over. For example, avoid chemical-filled conventional hygiene and cleaning products and choose organic, natural, and homemade options instead. Reduce the use of plastics. All of these little changes can really add up to a healthier, more supported body and mind.


Therapist writing down notes

Most Importantly: Don’t Forget About Your Mental Health

It’s normal to feel anxious and stressed in such a tragic situation. Taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. Don’t isolate. Stay in touch with your loved ones and community. Try journaling to release any frustration, anger, or fear. Try practicing meditation or simple deep breathing. There are many apps and online meditation resources to guide you, including free ones. You may try gentle yoga. Again, you may find free yoga videos on YouTube.

Seek counseling. You may find therapists online by searching the Psychology Today directory here or call your insurance for options. Many therapists take patients online. If you are religious or spiritual, you may seek spiritual counseling and support at one of your local churches (here is a list for East Palestine).


What to do if you’ve been exposed:

  • Relocate, if possible.
  • Use a high-quality whole house air filtration system.
  • Use a high-quality whole house water filtration system.
  • Increase sweating through infrared sauna use and exercise.
  • Hydrate your body by drinking lots of water.
  • Alkalize your urine
  • Drink green and black tea
  • Try intestinal binding agents, such as activated charcoal, chlorella, and bioactive carbons.
  • Try colon hydrotherapy and coffee enemas.
  • Support liver detoxification with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), amino acids, including glycine, taurine, and glutamine, S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e), glutathione, B vitamins, and magnesium.
  • Support the detoxification process and reduce inflammation with turmeric, quercetin, resveratrol, and phosphatidyl choline.
  • Follow an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, and nutrient-dense diet. Sleep plenty. Reduce stress. Move your body. And reduce other environmental toxin exposure.


woman using laptop

Next Steps

I recommend that you check out the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. You can find a directory of doctors trained in dealing with these issues. Find a practitioner here.

If you want to learn more about environmental toxins you may be affected by even if you were not impacted by the Ohio train derailment disaster, I recommend reading this article. By reading it, you will learn how to reduce your exposure to everyday environmental toxins and how to support your body in recovering from symptoms and health issues related to high toxin load.

If you are dealing with any chronic health issues and you want to improve your health, I welcome you to schedule a functional nutrition consultation with my nutritionist, Sarah.

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And stay tuned for more information to help you uncover the root cause of your health issues, to improve your nutrition, repair your body, and regain your health naturally.

You can schedule your consultation with Sarah here.