Water Supply Threaten In Charleston Community Of Over 300,000 After Chemical Leak

A disturbing piece in the Guardian details the public health impacts associated with the January 9th coal-processing chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people.

Limited toxicity studies had been done on the chemical, known as MCHM, and authorities went back and forth over when it was safe to begin using tap water again. Over a thousand people experienced adverse effects, including rashes, burning skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory discomfort.

“We do not drink it. My pets do not drink it. We don’t cook with it. I still cook with bottled water. I put bleach in every load of dishes,” said Susan Jackson, who lives with her two sons in Clendenin, about 25 miles north-east of the Freedom Industries site. – The Guardian

“Perhaps qualified inspectors would have considered aging chemical storage tanks, located just upstream from a public drinking water treatment plant to be potentially ‘highly hazardous’ and worthy of a closer look,” Moure-Eraso chairman of the Chemical Safety Board said at a hearing. – The Guardian