Almost two weeks after West Virginian residents were forced to stop using their water, because a chemical leaked into the Elk River poisoning the local water supply, officials are now admitting that a second chemical was also leaked into the river.
West Virginia residents are furious that it’s taken a full two weeks for this disclosure to happen, and wonder what else they’re not being told. Over 300,000 residents went without water for almost a week, and many are still fearful of using the water supply after 300 people fell ill from the contaminated water.
Freedom Industries, the chemical supplier whose leaking storage tank along the Elk River caused the federal emergency, is now admitting the contamination included a second chemical, a proprietary mixture of polyglycol ethers known as PPH. From the looks of things, the company knowingly withheld the information to protect trade secrets about its polyglycol ethers recipe.
“It is very disturbing that we are just now finding out about this new chemical, almost two weeks after the leak,” said West Virginia’s secretary of state, Natalie E. Tennant, in a statement on Wednesday. “We must have confidence that the water coming out of our faucets is not going to make our families sick.”
Officials are now calling for the Centers for Disease Control to post their water test results online, as many people are driving 50 – 100 miles away because they are in fear of using the local water supply.
The CDC issued a statement on Wednesday stating that information on the “Toxicologic information on PPH is limited” and suggested “out of an abundance of caution, pregnant women may wish to consider an alternative drinking water source until the chemical is at non-detectable levels in the water distribution system.”
They went on to admit that the local “the water system has not been tested for this material.”