Buzzards in the West Virginny Skies

I predicted the lawsuits about a spill of non toxic 4-methylcyclohexane methanol yesterday, and
today I hear of a wave of lawsuits.

Greenies and ambulance chasers are licking their chops and working on the damages claims.

Economists already engaged to tally the costs of the panic.

Freedom Industries soon to be on life support, big ugly birds circling.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-usa-westvirginia-spill-lawyers-idUSBREA0C1OR20140113

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7 responses to “Buzzards in the West Virginny Skies

  1. FWIW, 4-methylcyclohexylmethanol is chemically a ‘surfactant’, or a ‘surface active agent’, just like soaps and detergents. It is pH neutral and has NO known toxic health effects.
    My parents’ generation used to treat ‘potty mouth’ with a generous dose of soap given orally. The only things it ‘killed’ were germs and the desire to cuss.

    • Excellent. Surfactants are benign, but this is a crisis.

    • You beat me to getting the correct name for this chemical. Some of the press references were to 4-methylcyclohexanol. Most of the MSDS’s I could find didn’t list any toxic affects for this beast, but a couple had N/A, meaning that whoever wrote it couldn’t find anything in a search or likely didn’t see any affects for similar structures.
      Since the chemical is used in air fresheners, or at least was patented for that use, we could guess that it has limited toxicity. However, the treatments will likely pile up due to the nocebo affects. Years ago we had a truck stopped by a Mississippi State Trooper because he saw liquid dripping from the rear of the truck. He walked through the liquid to get a close look at the “leak.” He then read the MSDS, which mentioned nerve affects and immediately started having a severe reaction. He was treated with atropine and his symptoms got worse. The truck had just driven through a rain storm and the liquid dripping off the rear rails was water.
      No telling what dread diseases and maladies will be caused by this chemical.

      • Atropine is a treatment for nerve agent exposure, and this may have been a case of cure worse than the disease. Overatropinization can actually kill and/or cause serious neurological problems. People freak out in ignorance and we get cases of hyperlitigiousness.

  2. John, most non-ionic and anionic surfactants are non-toxic, although in high concentrations some of them will do a fine job of messing with subcutaneous lipids. You can’t assume cationic surfactants are non-toxic. Quaternary amine surfactants can be very irritating, somewhat corrosive and toxic. Many have low LD50’s so they make great raticides. Ammonium quats are used as disinfectants for bacteria.
    I don’t recall much toxicity from quaternary amine surfactants from pseudophed, but they did give a bit of a buzz.

  3. Potable water is special. You don’t put anything in drinking water. That’s a given. Even if it is non-toxic, it has a low odor threshold and the water is unfit for drinking for at least several days. That’s not nothing.
    That’s actually a pretty big deal.

    • I concur. I live near New Orleans where the water is nearly undrinkable on a fairly regular bassis due to the sulpher smell. I know it isn’t going to make me sick but it’s still unpleasant to drink and unsuitible to shower in when it gets bad. That being said, class action lawsuits built on a claim of cancer risk is out the other side. The only real motivation there is how much money the lawyers are goin gto get with a small side-benefit of giving the green movement (or coal competitors masquerading as such) some more ammo to take out coal.

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