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Phone Survey Shows Health Effects From Spill, High Level Of Distrust For Officials

Reported: May. 8, 2014 8:42 AM EDT
Updated: May. 8, 2014 6:01 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron, Jeff Morris) – A community-wide survey by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department on the impact of the Jan. 9 chemical spill and water contamination shows that 32 percent of the respondents reported a member of their household had an illness related to the chemical spill.

Health officials released a preview of some of the results on Thursday at the University of Charleston’s School of Pharmacy. The research deals with how people in Kanawha County reacted to the spill in the Elk River.

The results also indicated there were high percentages of respondents who gave officials an “F” on the trustworthiness of information and announcements related to the water crisis. Of the respondents surveyed, 38.1 percent gave West Virginia American Water an “F.” The same failing grade also was given to federal officials, 36.7 percent; state officials, 31.1 percent; and local officials, 18.2 percent.

All of the findings will be released at the University of Charleston at 5 p.m. Monday, May 12. The presentation is open to the public. Those who would like to attend are asked to register online at the health department’s website here or by calling 304-348-6494.

Officials at Thursday’s preview included Dr. Rahul Gupta, executive director and health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Putnam County Health Department, and Dr. David Latif, professor and chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Services at the University of Charleston’s School of Pharmacy.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Kanawha County's health officer is releasing the results of a telephone survey aimed at determining how local residents were affected by a January chemical spill.

Dr. Rahul Gupta plans to discuss the survey Thursday at the University of Charleston.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department used volunteers to call 6,000 random county phone numbers in April to discuss the health, economic and psychological impacts from the Jan. 9 spill at the Freedom Industries plant along the Elk River.

The spill contaminated 300,000 people's tap water for four to 10 days.

The state Bureau for Public Health conducted its own door-to-door survey in nine counties in April and has not yet released the results.

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



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