Chemical test results delivered to Paint Creek residents after the accident

Environmental health specialists from Kanawha and Fayette counties tested wells along Paint Creek following an Aug. 24 truck accident on the West Virginia Turnpike that spilled a chemical surfactant .

In letters sent to Paint Creek residents, Kanawha-Charleston and Fayette County Health Departments said there were traces of the chemical detected in 19 hand-dug or shallow wells.

The tractor-trailer was carrying containers of Empigen AS/F90 surfactant when it crashed into I-64, spilling the chemical into Skitter Creek, which empties into Paint Creek. Fayette County Health Department and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department employees sampled 19 hand-dug, shallow wells for testing.

No chemicals were found above the detection limit of 0.3%. These results do not reflect the overall safety of the wells sampled. They only indicate that the spilled chemical was not detected above this level in the wells that were tested.

Properly constructed private wells were not affected by the spill. It is not recommended to consume water from a hand-dug or shallow well.

“These are not safe sources of drinking water,” said Dr. Steven Eshenaur, DO, health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

“Representatives from Kanawha-Charleston and Fayette County Health Departments worked together to ensure that hand dug or shallow wells in the area of ​​the chemical spill were sampled and tested. This event reminds us of the importance of working together to protect the public health of West Virginians across counties,” Eshenaur said.

Fayette County Health Department Chief Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart, DO, agreed. “Our teams at both health departments – Fayette and Kanawha-Charleston – remain committed to keeping our communities healthy and safe, whether in response to a dangerous spill or providing resources during the latest infectious disease threat. . We appreciate the patience and cooperation of the great Paint Creek communities during this investigation.

Empigen AS/F90 is also called cocamidopropyl dimethylamine. It is commonly used as a surfactant or antistatic agent, or in disinfectants, cosmetics, or liquid dish soap. A few products listed as containing the chemical include Shaklee’s “Get Clean” hand dishwashing liquid.

concentrate, EWG Skin Deep Green People, irritated scalp shampoo and Paula’s Choice moisturizing gel-cream cleanser.

Health officials said residents who properly constructed private wells were unaffected by the spill. Health departments recommend people avoid drinking water from hand-dug or shallow wells.

The West Virginia Turnpike was temporarily closed due to the accident.

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