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Physician on Jan. 16 Stated, Don't Drink or Bathe Until it Doesn't Smell
Questions had continued since the state has no independent testing available. It's unclear what impact, if any, the CNN tests have on the outstanding water issues.
For instance, the WV Department of Health and Human Services has added an asterisk to its prior advice that water is safe at levels of less than one part per million.
Pregnant women are now as a precaution to not drink the water until the levels are not detectable. Period. The letter stated: “due to limited availability of data, and out of an abundance of caution, you may wish to consider an alternative drinking source for pregnant women until the chemical is at non-detectable levels in the water distribution system," wrote Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, in a letter to Karen Bowling, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.”
Why the concern? According to Dr. Frieden, there have been no studies on human health and limited studies on animals.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, has told WCHS-TV that “right now, we have to trust what WV American Water is saying.” But, should an “odor” be in the water or in the air, no one is going to feel safe.
He explained the health departments across the state “do not have water quality experts… We depend on West Virginia American Water to give us that guidance, and it seems like the guidance is, the water is safe, and we obviously have to take their word for it.”
In the WCHS interview, Gupta indicated he has “major concerns” about “long term” health effects. “We believe it is a safe chemical, but we don’t know that,” he said.
Confirming an earlier report about water use after the lifting and flushing of the systems, Gupta said there has been at least 101 emergency room visits between 7 p.m. Monday Jan 13 and 7 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 15. He told the Charleston Daily Mail, 46 ER patients from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday complained of water related symptoms. However, he explained that stress and not showering for up to seven days also can trigger skin irritations. Further, the reports are based on patient reported symptoms, not physician diagnosis.
Anyone developing symptoms --- nausea, skin irritations, eye irritations --- should contact the poison control center.
- WATER TESTS (178.83 KB)
- WV American Water Explanation for Discolored Water (509.51 KB)