Karen Bowling, West Virginia's secretary of Health and Human Resources, said pregnant women who drank the water before being told to avoid it should contact their doctors. For the rest of the population, Bowling said she is confident the tap water is not harmful.Trust in the science—when you admit there is none? We don't even have toxicity data on the substance at issue in West Virgina, known as MCHM, because it was grandfathered in when Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act back in 1976, along with 62,000 other chemicals. It the 40 years since, the law still hasn't been updated, and we're still in the dark about MCHM, but West Virginia's top health official wants us to "trust in the science" anyway.
"It's understandable that people are concerned. I don't want to minimize anybody's feelings about an issue as sensitive as this," said Bowling, who said she drank the tap water after it was declared safe. "It's hard to instill confidence when there's little known about the chemical, but at the same time we have to trust in the science of what's happening."
If I were a citizen of West Virginia, I certainly wouldn't trust in Karen Bowling.