CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As word spread in Charleston Friday of the contamination of the drinking water in parts of nine southern West Virginia counties, many considered the impact of exposure they may have suffered before West Virginia American Water Company issued a “Do Not Use” advisory to customers.
Those who’ve experienced symptoms possibly associated with contamination were urged to call the West Virginia Poison Control Center.
Dr. Elizabeth Scharman said the center fielded more than 730 calls Friday.
“Last time we took a count we’d had – that we know of — 70 people evaluated in the hospital,” Scharman said. “But only four admitted.”
Scharman said a lot of the calls were out of concern when they experienced one or more symptoms. Those symptoms may or may not have been related to the spill.
“Trying to separate what symptoms are coming in because people know that they were exposed to a chemical — versus what are actually the effects from the chemical.” said Scharman.
The symptoms of exposure could be nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, reddened skin, itchy skin, and rashes.
“The symptoms are ranging from mild to somewhat bothersome to more bothersome,” she said. “Some people have multiple symptoms and some people might must have one symptom.”
Although most actual irritation from exposure has been mild, state officials are still urging anyone feeling they may have been exposed to contact poision control.