Researchers look at effect of chemical spill in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - University of South Carolina researchers will examine the long-term health effects of a 2005 chemical spill caused by a train wreck in a small textile mill town.

The State of Columbia reported Saturday that researchers recently won a $2.9 million federal grant to look at weather exposure to chlorine gas from the spill has caused premature aging in the lungs of those who lived near the wreck site.

Epidemiologist Erik Svendsen said an earlier study showed increased aging in the lungs of those exposed to the chlorine gas in the first year after the crash.

Nine people died when a train hit park cars, rupturing a tanker containing chlorine. Hundreds were evacuated from their homes and corroded equipment at the nearby textile mill forced its owners to shut down.

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