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WCHD releases health impact survey on Rockton Chemtool fire

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Chemtool fire 2021 3 (1)

ROCKFORD (WREX) — We now have a clearer picture of how June's massive Chemtool fire impacted neighbors.

The presentations includes data put together by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and WCHD to explain why the Health Impact Survey was conducted, show results from the Health Impact Survey, and explain what those results are telling us

The health department released the results of its 2,000 residents surveyed. Health officials said 45% reported symptoms related to the fire, debris, or smoke. The top five symptoms are coughing, difficulty breathing, asthma, chest tightness, and burning in lungs.

Meanwhile, 28% of those surveyed reported some kind of mental health symptom. The most common was anxiety.

"I think it's important to understand that this was kind of the first look at a first major chemical fire in a timeline where we had some real time data on the environmental as well as the health impact and pet and livestock," Winnebago County Public Health Administrator, Dr. Sandra Martell said.

Dr. Martell said the health department will release a survey 3 and 6 months from from now to get a bigger picture of long-term health impacts.

You can watch the full presentation on the health department's youtube page.

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