There’s Another Chemical in the Elk River and No One Knows Anything

A week after West Virginians were told their water is safe to drink, another chemical that was included in the Freedom Industries cocktail has been identified that authorities didn’t test for before lifting the ban.

Charleston Gazette

Mike Dorsey, director of homeland security and emergency response for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said he learned about the additional chemical’s presence in the tank that leaked at about 10 a.m. [Tuesday], just before a routine daily meeting with various agencies and Freedom Industries about the situation at the site.

Dorsey said Freedom Industries President Gary Southern asked to speak with him privately, told him about the chemical being in the tank, and handed him data sheets on the material, which Dorsey referred to as polyglycol ethers.

Has polyglycol ether, or PPH, entered the area water supply? If it did, what effect would it have if ingested? The short answer is no one knows.

Authorities have begun testing the water and there have been no studies on what effects ingesting PPH would have.

The water was not tested for the presence of PPH before lifting the ban on drinking it because authorities were not told of its presence until yesterday.

  • Christopher Foxx

    another chemical that … authorities didn’t test for

    Well that’s some damned incompetent investigation going on. When folks complain that there’s something seriously wrong with the water, the question you want answered “What is in this?” rather than “Is substance X in this?”

    “Yes, folks. We’ve done thorough testing and can assure you there is absolutely no more ABCD in the water. And since that’s the only thing folks have been talking about in the papers, we don’t see a need to test for anything else.”

  • Norbrook

    In general, by themselves they’re not all that toxic. They’re actually used chromatography or as thickening/carrier agent.. (polyethlyene glycols) – also known as “PEG”. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they should have known that, and reported it, and while in general the pure compounds aren’t toxic, given the (likely) crude mixture, there’s likely to be something else that is toxic.

  • muselet

    The Invisible Hand Of The Free Market sure isn’t doing its job lately, is it?


    • captkurt

      Does it ever? I have thought for a while that The Invisible Hand does exist. But, it doesn’t ‘help’ with anything, as far as the 99% are concerned. The Invisible Hand is just flipping us the bird.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Hard for it to do it’s job when it’s been tied up, gagged and stuffed in a corporate closet.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      The Invisible Hand Of The Free Market is too busy jerking off, and fantasizing about an economy with no regulations, oversights, or any of them other pesky bureaucracies.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Holy Jeebus….somebody from Freedom “To Kill” Industries needs to go to jail.

  • zirgar

    Ay, carumba! I hope my kids don’t end up looking like Blinky, the three eyed fish from The Simpsons.

  • morningsky

    This is really easy. Put Gary Southern on camera and have him start drinking PPH. Wait and watch.