More than a month after a chemical spill poisoned West Virginians’ drinking water, officials still know virtually nothing about the toxicity of the contaminant MCHM or its effect on humans.
The Guardian reports:
The tell-tale liquorice scent of MCHM still hangs over the storage tank farm on the Elk River that was the source of the contamination. The hot water carries a faint chemical smell in small communities to the north-west and north-east of Charleston. There are still traces in some homes of the white residue that settled on dishes in the early days, after officials told the public it was safe to use the water.
Many of those who do bathe in tap water rinse off afterwards with bottled water, in order to avoid skin irritations and rashes.
“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.