Second chemical discovered in W.Va. spill

A second chemical not previously identified was in the tank that leaked into West Virginia' Elk River earlier this month, federal and state investigators discovered on Tuesday.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Freedom Industries the company that owned the chemical storage facility told investigators that the Crude MCHM that leaked also included a chemical called PPH.


West Virginia American Water Co. told state officials that its water system would have likely removed the chemical from drinking water during its normal treatment process. Additional testing is being done on the original water samples from the first days after the spill to confirm that the chemical was filtered.

The new chemical can irritate the eyes and skin and is harmful when swallowed, according to a Freedom Industries data sheet. It is listed as less harmful than Crude MCHM.