Officials Reveal Second Chemical Spilled in W. Virginia Waters

Photo retrieved from: www.commondreams.org

“West Virginia officials revealed Tuesday that a second potentially harmful chemical had also spilled into the Elk River contaminating the water supply of over 300,000 area residents.

According to the Charleston Gazette, it wasn’t until 12 days after the Jan. 9 spill that Gary Southern, the President of Freedom Industries—the source of the leak—told the state Department of Environmental Protection emergency response director Mike Dorsey that the 7,500 gallons of Crude MCHM also contained a chemical known as “PPH,” which contains potentially toxic glycol ethers.

The Gazette reports:

A Freedom Industries data sheet on the chemical says it can irritate the eyes and skin and is harmful if swallowed. The sheet lists the material as less lethal than Crude MCHM but also says no data are available on its long-term health effects.

State officials said late Tuesday that they believe the West Virginia American Water utility company would “likely have removed the chemical from drinking water during its normal treatment process,” and are performing additional testing of water samples from the first days after the incident to confirm that.

“We have to go back and confirm things and make sure we’re doing our due diligence for public health,” said Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard.”

Read more: Common Dreams

 

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