W.Va. Chemical Spill Survey to be Released

By: Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email
By: Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email

UPDATE @ 5/8/14 @ 10 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The results of a telephone survey that was designed to reveal how people were affected by the water crisis will be released next week.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, executive director and health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Putnam County Health Department, will release the findings during a presentation on Monday.

Dr. Gupta says the survey provides valuable information about all aspects of the chemical spill, including how it affected people's confidence and when and how they first became aware of the spill.

The research found that about 32 percent of the those participated in the survey say a member of their household had an illness they felt was related to the chemical spill.

According to the survey, West Virginia American Water ranked high in the public's lack of trustworthiness of their information and announcements. Local officials were the most trusted.

Dr. Gupta says he will release the rest of the findings next week.

"We'll be presenting all the information on Monday," Gupta said. "We encourage all interested to attend and discover how residents of Kanawha County actually responded to the Elk River chemical spill."

The presentation will be begin at 5 p.m. Monday at the University of Charleston. The event is open to the public.

Those attending are asked to register online. You can register by clicking on the link to the right of this article.

The health department joined forces with the University of Charleston and other partners for this survey. It was conducted in April.

On January 9, a chemical leak at Freedom Industries contaminated water for more than 300,000 people in nine counties. Those affected were under a "do not use order" for several days until the water was safe to use.

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.

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