Once the TOXNET info got to their field people, CDC had to respond. CDC has issued this UPDATED recommendation (acquired through regional television WSAZ):
The new CDC recommendations ask pregnant women to use bottled water until there are no detectable levels of MCHM, the chemical that spilled into the Elk River in Charleston last week.
Toxicity of 4-methylcyclohexanol with animal tests from TOXNET at National Library of Medicine shows lethality as a gas. That conveys somewhat less chemical than the Navy test. If anything, the Navy is slightly optimistic about surviving MCHM.
The Examiner has this up:
The U.S. Navy laboratory at Norfolk Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Va. says that the only acceptable level of the chemical in any oral form is less than 0.057 ppm, less than 1/16th the amount that Governor (Earl Ray) Tomblin had said was an acceptable level.Gov. Tomblin was relying on WV National Guard Gen. Hoyer for information, but he was relying on the producers, Georgia-Pacific. No one tested MCHM to NBC/WMD standards prior to the Navy getting hold of it. Chemicals are always tested when they go into a ship that can face chemical warfare.
NIH/TOXNET are the specialists at poisons. CDC come second and apply standards with force of law. The Navy have chemical engineers on hand with excellent lab facilities. They're all on the same page.
State of West Virginia, maybe a step behind. CDC has reached out so it probably doesn't matter.
Dysinformation in the comments
Various claims appear that this MCHM is "highly soluble" in water. Thus, that it will be easy to clean out from home systems. The "Lake Superior" account, particularly, adopts a "superior" tone as though speaking as a chemist. that information is false. to wit:
"4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM, systematic name 4-methylcyclohexylmethanol) is an organic compound with the formula CH3C6H10CH2OH. Classified as an alcohol, it exists as two diastereomers with similar properties. It is a colourless oil with a faint mint-like alcohol odor. Like other 8-carbon alcohols, such as 1-octanol, this compound is only slightly soluble in water but highly soluble in many organic solvents."Look it up anywhere. That's the wiki entry. It is going to be a (*&^%%^& to get out of contaminated water pipes. Two set process is stated below.
And we still have no idea what impurities get shipped with commercial 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol. And why does that matter ??? Ask these folks:
Chisso Corporation in Japan didn't control their chemicals, same as Freedom Industries. That's why the girl Tomoko Uemura, is blind, deaf, twisted -- bathed in her mother's love as you can see. Mercury is one nasty poison, obviously. CDC also states a zero-tolerance standard for MCHM for pregnant women and it is "only slightly soluble in water" so it's going to hang around doing its damage. So let's get serious:
1. Flushing pipes doesn't get you below 0.057 PPM. You have to shut off water and drain your pipes first. Pretend you are going away for January and February with the heat off. Then refill with no-MCHM clean water.
2. Test by taking a 50 cc sample and mailing it in. This is going to be a big problem for West Virginia government. They had nothing going as of this afternoon. They are relying on the local water authorities, not on testing individual houses. Try the State Police with a note asking them to register evidence and forward to the appropriate authority for testing ASAP.
Georgia Pacific Chemical is owned by the Koch brothers. We know what to expect there. If this batch was from Eastman Chemical, that doesn't change a thing. West Virginia government is all but owned by the coal industry which uses this MCHM as a "frothing agent" to clean coal dust. We know what to expect there. Occupy West Virginia doesn't have resources to deal with this mess.
Surviving chemical poisoning depends on getting to good science and good engineering. Getting there fast. The people at Minamata were dying before they got help, seeing their kids trashed in the womb. The people of West Virginia have been told that MCHM will wash away in water, which has no basis in fact. They were being lied to yesterday.
West Virginia needs better. Everybody near the river needs to know what TOXNET and the Navy know about MCHM.
Everybody needs a full NBC/WMD analysis of the MCHM and contaminants in their house water. See photos in links in the comments for what this crap does to skin and to pipes. Details in the TOXNET studies start at liver damage, going on from there.
What CDC says is good for pregnant women, take it to heart for your family and yourself.
You see the problem flying blind, the long term risks, right? And don't think that because mercury is more toxic than MCHM, anybody is off free. It don't work like that with 7,500 gallons estimated in one leak and months of systemic MCHM leaks likely going back into 2013.
When pollution affected the residents of Minamata, company thugs attacked the victims and their supporters.
Minamata: The Story of the Poisoning of a CityThere's more at that web site.
In 1971, Smith returned to Japan for a third time and lived in the small fishing village of Minamata, with his wife Aileen. Although they planned to stay for only three months, the couple stayed for three years. Smith’s photos on a mercury poisoning scandal in Minamata were published in Asahi Camera, Camera 35, and Life in an article called “Death-Flow from a Pipe,” and in this book called “Minamata: The Story of the Poisoning of a City.” The photos brought world attention to the Minamata disease caused by mercury being released into the ocean by a company called Chisso. The most famous photo was that of Kamimura Tomoko in the bath, cradled by her mother. Born in 1956, Tomoko suffered from mercury poisoning. Mercury had entered her bloodstream through the placenta, leaving her blind, deaf, and with useless legs. Smith heard about Tomoko’s daily afternoon bath and asked her mother if he could photograph them. He carefully checked the bath’s lighting, which came through a dark window. Smith determined that three in the afternoon would be the best time, and took the famous photo in December 1971.
Smith and his wife were attacked and injured in January 1972 during a confrontation between mercury poisoning victims and Chisso employees at the factory in Goi. Victims were violently evicted from Chisso property. Smith had to seek medical treatment in the U.S. for his injuries. Ken Kobre described the attack in an essay at the Masters Exhibition website: “Smith almost lost his eyesight covering the story. He and his wife, armed with camera and tape-recorder, accompanied a group of patients to record a meeting the group expected to have with an official of the company. The official failed to show up. “But,” Smith related, “suddenly, a group of about 100 men, on orders from the company, crowded into the room. They hit me first. They grabbed me and kicked me in the crotch and snatched the cameras, then hit me in the stomach. Then they dragged me out and picked me up and slammed my head on the concrete.” Smith survived, but with limited vision in one eye.
What is happening in West Virginia parallels the mechanics of the Minamata disaster. Business there minimized public response, avoided solid engineering actions to correct the public health damage.
Now we have CDC on site.
So far we haven't seen company thugs in West Virginia. If people die and babies are born mangled, that could change.
Getting house pipes down below 0.057 PPM for MCHM is going to take hard work and structured task assignments. And testing. Most people are going to need help. Getting house pipes down to zero surely requires the two step process. Pipes have to be drained.
What the Governor has been saying is a 1 PPM standard -- way more than what the Navy has to say. That piece of company information needs to be corrected ASAP. CDC took care of it.
Thanks for the "Recommended" tag.
This needs FB, twitter, anything and everything. State of West Virginia was a couple steps slow during the day
today yesterday. It's a tough problem for them.
Please, let's learn all we can from Tomoko Uemura and her mother....