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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A list of West Virginia customers being asked to avoid using water is growing because of a chemical spill into the Elk River in Charleston. West Virginia American Water expanded its advisory from five to eight counties Thursday night. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency, telling the company’s customers in those areas not to drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes in the water and to only use it for flushing. The company’s do-not-use advisory now includes the counties of Kanawha, Boone, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane.
The station said the chemical leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston. The leaked product is 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which is used in the froth flotation process of coal washing and preparation, according to WSAZ.
State regulators are investigating a tank explosion at a drilling site in Tyler County that injured a worker. Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise told media outlets that investigators suspect vapors inside the tank ignited somehow, according to a report published by The Associated Press. The explosion occurred last week at Jay-Bee Oil & Gas' Lisby well, about six miles southeast of Middlebourne. Aluise said the explosion injured one Baker Hughes employee who was on-site during hydraulic fracturing operations. He said Jay-Bee suspended the operations last Friday. A cleanup of soil contaminated by the explosion is continuing. Read More at: www.wtov9.com...
Media outlets report the chemical leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and overran a containment area on Thursday. The amount that spilled isn't immediately known. A chemical smell was in the air.
Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says the chemical is used in the coal preparation process.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for five counties as a result of the spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used in the coal industry.
Human Toxicity Excerpts:
/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ Short term exposure: Methylcyclohexanol can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin. Irritates the eyes and the skin. High levels of the vapor may cause irritation of eyes and upper respiratory tract. Repeated or prolonged exposure can cause headaches, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and can also cause a skin rash. High exposures from skin contact or inhalation may cause damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs, and may result in death. Long term exposure: repeated or prolonged contact with skin may cause skin rash.
The chemical that leaked into the river from Freedom Industries was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, DEP spokesman Tom Aluise said.
Freedom Industries produces "freeze conditioning agents, dust control palliatives, flotation reagents [and] water treatment polymers," among other chemicals, according to its website. Freedom Industries officials, including the company's president, Dennis Farrell, did not return repeated phone calls Thursday.
Earlier in the day, some emergency officials were saying they had found little information about potential toxic effects of the substance. One material-safety data sheet, or MSDS, said, "no specific information is available . . . regarding the toxic effects of this material for humans.
"However, exposure to any chemical should be kept to a minimum," the MSDS said. "Skin and eye contact may result in irritation. May be harmful if inhaled or ingested."
This is the area in which I live, all we are allowed to do is use the toilet and use the water to fight fires. There is no bottled water left at any of the stores around me. I will be able to at least use some of my stocked water. We have been told that it could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days until the water is good to use again.
Everyone is freaking out of course.
The chemical puts out a licorice kind of smell and if you drink it, it is supposed to burn your mouth and throat. If you wash your hands or bathe in the water it will irritate your skin. It also causes stomach pain and vomiting if ingested. It is not something that can be fixed with a boil alert. This is all from the local TV news.edit on R162014-01-09T20:16:40-06:00kK16Thursday8pm1 by RickKilgannon because: (no reason given)