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.