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WV Chemical Safe Level For Water Based On Two-Week Exposure, Not 100-Plus Days

Reported: Apr. 22, 2014 1:36 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by a January spill, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

Months afterward, Centers for Disease Control and Protection officials see no reason to adjust a benchmark quickly created off limited lab rat research.

Kanawha County health officer Dr. Rahul Gupta argues the standard should account for ongoing exposure, even if it's at levels 2,000 times below what CDC declared safe. Researchers say chemical traces will leach into the supply until the water plant finishes changing filters late next month.

For months, the CDC said its standard accounted for "short-term" exposure, but never conveyed a timeframe.

The spill contaminated tap water for 300,000 people for days.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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