Licorice smelling and tasting alcohol used as a foaming agent for processing coal and making it fit for transport, got into the water supply from a spill that went into the Elk River, running Northeast of Charleston, West Virginny. Coal Country for sure.
Much hand wringing–but no risk apparent.
Enviros tremble with anticipation. Coal Bad, Chemicals Bad, people scared.
Send money to the people who care bout u. Anything with a name like 4-Methylcyclohexane methanol has got to be bad, if not to you to your unborn chilluns.
Organic chemists create scary names because they are descriptive. Methyl is one carbon with the hydrogens attached, methanol is a methyl group with an oxygen/hydrogen radical attached. cyclo hexane just means a ring of 6 carbon hydrogen units.
Some alcohols like methanol can make you sick for sure–blind even. However the dose and the nature of the chemical makes the poison. The crisis had a lot to do with the smell and the anxiety people have about chemicals. Public officials went overboard, but they feel obligated–don’t want people with matching t shirts screaming at them.
The precautionary principle was installed even though the safety data sheet wasn’t scary at all, and the warnings were for much higher exposures than what was in the water. The big problem is it smells so people knew it was there.
Lawyers are circling but other than anxiety and the remediation costs and short term water shortage, what damages? Since the safety sheet says eye irritation and headaches for high dose exposures, hopefully people will not be scared silly, but some will have headaches and irritated eyes for sure.
As the public officials said, there is no known risk to health then they proceeded to take the precautionary principle out and dust it off–can’t use the water to wash clothes? Really, how about to water animals?
I bet the cattle and horses got the water if they needed it and how could washing clothes or things in the house be harmful except maybe the smell if you are anxious.-