CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The federal Centers for Disease Control released the results of the CASPER report Monday in connection with the Jan. 9 chemical spill and water emergency that impacted parts of nine West Virginia counties.
Teams went door-to-door in the impacted region back in April to speak with residents about what happened in the days after the Jan. 9 leak of the chemical crude MCHM into the Elk River in Charleston just above West Virginia American Water Company’s Kanawha Valley Plant.
Dr. Loretta Haddy, state epidemiologist and director of the state DHHR’s Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, said several of the results mirrored other studies done after the water emergency.
“The CASPER health questions were not designed or intended to assess ongoing or current health issues related to the spill. Yet the survey indicates that approximately 1/5 of the households surveyed had individuals who experienced symptoms consistent with those reported in the results in the emergency department record review, non-emergency health providers’ reports, the reports from the WV Poison Center and WV CAPS from the Kanawha Charleston Health Department. This further supports the need for additional studies to determine the long-term effects of MCHM on humans,” Haddy said.
The information also showed only about a one-third of residents had gone back to drinking tap water in April some three months after the spill.