September 2, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia health official and a water company are disputing a statement from a risk assessment adviser that traces of formaldehyde are in the water supply following a chemical spill.
Environmental Quality Board adviser Dr. Scott Simonton told a state legislative panel Wednesday that he "can guarantee" some West Virginians are breathing in traces of formaldehyde while showering. It comes after the spill at Freedom Industries on Jan. 9.
Bureau for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Tierney says Simonton's presentation is "totally unfounded."
And West Virginia American Water called Simonton's statement "misleading and irresponsible."
Simonton says the formaldehyde showed up in a water sample at a downtown Charleston restaurant.
Federal health guidelines say people need to breathe "a lot of it" to be a problem.