NTP to Conduct Toxicity Studies on Predominant Chemicals Spilled in W.Va. Leak
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is set to conduct a number of toxicity studies on the predominant chemicals known to be involved in the January 2014 spill that released an estimated 10,000 gallons of chemicals used to process coal near the Elk River, contaminating the water supply for approximately 300,000 West Virginians. The primary spilled agent was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM), but other chemicals such as dipropylene glycol phenyl ether (DiPPH) and propylene glycol phenyl ether (PPH) were present in smaller amounts. In July of last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) nominated the spilled chemicals to NTP to obtain additional toxicology data, and NTP published its research project plan in December.
NTP plans to study the major constituents of the spilled liquid in rodent and other model organisms to look for developmental effects. The organization will also use cellular, molecular, and computer-modeling approaches to identify biological systems that are affected by these chemicals and at what concentrations these effects might occur.
According to NTP, results from these studies will help determine if more comprehensive health assessment studies are needed. The organization plans to release findings from the studies on its website as they become available. For more information, visit the NTP website.