Water Tests at 90 Schools Show MCHM Below Gov. Tomblin's New Standard

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Water tested at 90 schools impacted by the chemical leak last month have met a new stringent safety threshold set by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

Last week, Gov. Tomblin called for addition water testing to confirm that all schools in the nine counties affected by the Jan. 9 MCHM spill in Kanawha County were under 2 parts per billion.

According to the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia National Guard is revisiting more than 100 schools in Kanawha, Boone, Clay, Cabell, Lincoln and Putnam counties.

The results returned so far are indicating a non-detect level at the 2ppb standard. Non-detect means that there are no traces of MCHM at the 2ppb screening level. After testing thousands of lab samples, chemists are now able to confidently test at 2ppb, according to state officials.

In prior weeks, the National Guard tested water in all schools at a level of 10 ppb which is 100 times more protective than Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) recommend level of 1 part per million. The 2ppb is 500 times more protective than the CDCs recommended level.

Schools in the impacted counties have continued to provide hand sanitizer and bottled water to students and food is being prepared with bottled water.

Results for the remaining schools are expected in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Rapid Response Team established earlier this month to address issues in schools will continue to answer and investigate calls.

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