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WV TAP releases oxidation study on crude MCHM; final report due soon

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A revised oxidation study on crude MCHM was released Friday, May 30 by the West Virginia Testing Assessment Program.

Read the oxidation study HERE.

The team was last in town in April when it concluded the public discussion on its study of MCHM and PPH. Although the team ran out of government funding, they continue to work in order to release one more report summarizing their findings.

As one of its last operations, the assessment team conducted an in-home sampling study where members went into 10 households affected by the chemical spill.

They spiked bottled water with 10 parts per billion of Crude MCHM, a safe screening level offered by the CDC, by basing the concentrations on those used in the water treatment plant (3.5 mg/L of chlorine and 1.3 mg/L) where they were held one and three days and three hours, respectively, to simulate the water plant. An additional dosing with 4.0 mg/L KMnO4 (Potassium permanganate, a strong oxidizing agent) was conducted to see if there was an oxidative effect at a higher concentration.

The study discovered free chlorine did not appear to cause any reduction of the MCHM. The 1.3 mg/L of KMnO4 appeared to reduce the MCHM concentration by about 30 percent. However, the 4.0 dose did not reduce the MCHM concentration and it isn’t clear if KMnO4 really oxidizes MCHM, according to the team.

Team members said more work is needed to determine the findings.

Recommendations from WV TAP included conducting more “intensive oxidations studies at higher concentrations of Crude MCHM with KMnO4 to determine the kinetics of the reaction” as well as “further experiments with higher concentrations of Crude MCHM and KMnO4 to produce potential byproducts at sufficient concentrations that could be identified using the existing analytical methodology.