MCHM spilled into W. V. river more toxic than previously thought

By on July 15, 2014

An environmental enforcement boat patrols in front of the chemical spill at Freedom Industries (Credit: Foo Conner, via Flickr)


When Freedom Industries spilled MCHM produced by Eastman Chemicals into West Virginia’s Elk River last January, the manufacturer asserted that the chemical wasn’t likely to cause health problems. But a new study contradicts Eastman’s findings, showing that MCHM is more toxic than previously suggested, the Register-Herald reported.

Researchers at the University of South Alabama conducted MCHM toxicity tests on water fleas, microcrustaceans commonly used in toxicological studies. The tests revealed that much less MCHM exposure is required to harm the fleas than previously thought.

Eastman Chemical conducted a single study on water fleas in 1998. After three attempts, the university researchers were unable to replicate Eastman’s study results. Eastman continues to assert that their methods and findings are sound.

Image: An environmental enforcement boat patrols in front of the chemical spill at Freedom Industries (Credit: Foo Conner, via Flickr)

 

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