West Virginia Residents Drinking, Breathing Carcinogens


I find this to be fairly disturbing and I’m not even a resident of the Charleston area who may have been drinking the water for the past two weeks.

A Marshal University scientist said this morning that he has detected formaldehyde in the local water supply, and that’s not all.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Marshall University environmental scientist and member of the state Environmental Quality Board said today that he has found formaldehyde in local water samples and that the continued lack of data on the chemical that leaked into the Elk River is very concerning. [...]

4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or “Crude MCHM,” the chemical compound that leaked into the Elk River, has methanol as one of its main components. Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde, Simonton said.

Furthermore, anyone who has showered in the past several weeks may have been breathing formaldehyde.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A state official said Wednesday that he “can guarantee” some West Virginians are breathing in a carcinogen while showering after the chemical spill that spurred a water-use ban. [...]

He added that the breakdown can happen in the shower and that formaldehyde is most toxic when inhaled.

He also called respiratory cancer the biggest risk with breathing in the chemical.

Simonton says they “absolutely cannot” guarantee that the water is safe.

For the time being it appears that West Virginians are unwittingly serving as test subjects because no one seems to know the true extent of the spill or the full consequences of it.

  • Amanda

    I live in Charleston. I heard some experts this morning on npr discussing the formaldehyde…saying that it breaks down rather quickly and the amounts may have been minute. Even still, the problem we are having here is that no one is telling us anything. In order for scientists and experts to understand exactly what entered our water system and what they break down into, we need direct answers from Freedom. We need to know what amounts were stored, delivered, and shipped off. There are plenty of receipts and inventory counts that a company keeps to look at. It will take at least a year for any of us to really know what we were exposed to.
    Our water utility was privatized a few years back. They too, in their freedom loving fashion, won’t give us answers. If they had still been a public utility, it would have been mandatory they take the necessary steps to ensure our safety.
    If you want a model for libertarianism, here we are.

  • muselet

    “It’s your decision,” Gov. Tomblin told reporters at a press conference on [January 20]. “If you do not feel comfortable drinking or cooking with this water then use bottled water.”

    Listen to your governor, West Virginians! Feel free to shower in bottled water! It’s your decision! And while you’re lathering up, enjoy the sweet smell of freedom! (Or maybe it’s formaldehyde, it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes.)

    If there’s not a criminal investigation that results in a lot of indictments, I will be terribly disappointed.


  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    The “freedom” bastards ought to be a fucking jail cell, if not actually strung up on a damn rope in the town square.

    THIS is what the sociopathic Republicans have done in their quest for money and power. Makes me literally sick.