The sheet says federal agencies have sent a response team to review medical records, survey hospitals and "assess disaster epidemiology capacity." It says the Poison Center is sharing information with public health agencies and evaluation is ongoing. It does not say if there will be any long-term studies or medical monitoring done in the region.
Wednesday night, in a House of Delegates committee meeting, an amendment was rejected that would have provided funding for local health departments to begin screening participants for a long-term medical monitoring program.
The sheet asks: "Is the West Virginia Poison Center comfortable with what is currently known about the concentrations of MCMH [sic] in the affected counties when making its recommendations for use of the water?"
Again, a "yes or no" question without a "yes or no" answer.
The Poison Center has evaluated all testing done by the state as well as some private testing, and they are showing levels at or very close to "nondetect," the sheet says. It says the word "safe" is used in the federal Safe Drinking Water Act despite the fact the act says it's ok for contaminants to be found at levels above zero.
"The West Virginia Poison Center believes that water with an MCMH [sic] level less than or equal to 1 part per million can be used for any purpose a person desires," the sheet says. "While water with an odor or taste may make the water aesthetically undesirable for use in bathing or drinking, this concentration of MCMH [sic] is not expected to cause toxicity at the concentrations currently being reported."
The fact sheet asks if there are any medical tests that can be run for patients who have been exposed to the chemicals.
The answer is no.
"On the basis of available information about these and similar chemicals, these chemicals are likely to be very rapidly metabolized in the body," the sheet says. "Attempts to measure levels are likely to be fruitless and any results uninterpretable."
The sheet tells doctors and nurses if patients complain of continued symptoms from chemical exposure -- such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or eye irritation -- it is important to evaluate for other possible ailments.
"The Poison Center has fielded many calls from patients who thought they were ill from contaminated water, but were later formally diagnosed with influenza, for example," the sheet says. "Many patients have dry skin during the winter months and using hand sanitizer is desiccating as well. The Poison Center has noted many rashes were the result of frequent hand sanitizer use without the ability to wash because of the 'do-not-use' order."
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.