Chemical Spill Caused Health Effects for 1 in 5 West Virginians: Survey

July 9, 2014

One in five West Virginians who responded to a survey thought they had health issues after a chemical spill into the water supply in January.

In the survey conducted in April by state and federal health officials, 36 percent of respondents thought their water was safe after a “do not use” order was lifted days after the spill.

Additionally, 37 percent of respondents said they still used their tap water during the four to 10 days when officials banned using it for most purposes.

Door-to-door interviewers administered 171 surveys over three days in April.

The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries sullied the drinking water supply for 300,000 people with coal-cleaning chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Bureau for Public Health administered the survey.

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