Toxic Trains and Denzel Washington

by Meena Hussein

October 22, 2010

There’s a new action movie coming out on November 12th—Unstoppable, directed by Tony Scott, is based on the true story of the Crazy Eights runaway train incident in Toledo, Ohio in 2001.  Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, and Rosario Dawson star in this tough-talking, action-packed film.

The film features a runaway train with rail cars full of poison chemicals headed straight for a major city.  It’s the nightmare scenario our chemical security campaign is afraid will happen.  Trains with rail cars full of chlorine gas careen through bustling cities across the U.S. everyday.  By the way, let’s not forget that chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon in World War I.  These daily risks do not even have to occur, and companies such as Clorox are switching to safer or at least just-in-time process, which creates safer amounts of chlorine on site. What can we do to prevent this?

I recently submitted a video question to Denzel about his views on this issue. Check it out and help us out by watching the link and then tweeting, facebooking, or embedding it in your blog.  Denzel Washington, unlike most actors in Hollywood today, is an actor with a social conscience.  He has been prominent in many children’s issues as a spokesperson for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of America and an honorary chairperson for Save Africa’s Children.  

This issue affects the schools our kids are going to, it affects you, me, and our entire nation.  And what are our Legislators doing about it? Not enough. The House of Representatives passed a bill asking for comprehensive chemical security legislation last year, but the Senate has done absolutely nothing on the issue.  

If nothing is passed before the end of this session, they will have to start all over.  Hey, at least there’s this awesome movie we can watch that can happen to any of us at any moment.  Think about that when you’re sitting in your car at railroad crossing watching 90-ton rail cars full of poison gas go by.

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