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West Virginia chemical spill poses a new test for lawmakers

from The Washington Post

There are more than 80,000 chemicals in the United States catalogued by government regulators, and the health risks of most of them are unknown. This became glaringly obvious when a clear, licorice-smelling chemical leaked from an old storage tank into the Elk River in West Virginia, contaminating the drinking water for much of the state, including the capital, Charleston. What made the spill alarming was not just the reports of rashes, stomachaches and other ailments but the paucity of information about the potential toxicity of Crude MCHM, which is primarily composed of a chemical named 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. more


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