An Eastman "material safety data sheet," or MSDS, for that chemical shows that 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol makes up 68 percent to 89 percent of Crude MCHM.
The MSDS also shows, though, that Crude MCHM includes six other ingredients: 4-(methoxymethyl)cyclohexanemethanol, water, methyl 4-methylcyclohexanecarboxylate, dimethyl 1,4-cyclohexanedicarboxylate, methanol and 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol.
Evan Hansen, an environmental consultant with the Morgantown firm Downstream Strategies, has been wondering for several days about whether the health studies and water-sampling efforts included the other constituents of Crude MCHM.
Posting his thoughts on Twitter, Hansen said the distinction between the two substances is important. "Are water tests in area being done for all constituents of Crude MCHM or just for 4-MCHM," Hansen posted.
Writing on his group's blog Thursday night, Environmental Defense Fund biochemist Richard Denison said knowing that the Eastman study focused on a different chemical than was leaked "adds some additional uncertainty."
"If other components besides MCHM present in the crude mixture are more or less toxic than MCHM, the mixture's toxicity would differ from that found for the pure material," Denison wrote.
Goldman, who was assistant administrator for toxic substances in the Clinton administration's Environmental Protection Agency, agreed that the difference between the pure 4-MCHM and the "technical grade" of Crude MCHM are important.
"What is the actual concentration of the pure chemical in the technical grade, and then what are the other things in the technical grade and are they in the technical grade in high enough concentrations to be a concern," Goldman said in an interview Friday. "Question mark, question mark, question mark."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.