Dry Cleaning Chemical Found in WV Town’s Drinking Water

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PADEN CITY, W.Va. (AP) – Officials say the drinking water in a West Virginia community along the Ohio River contains a harmful chemical widely used by dry cleaners.

State Bureau for Public Health spokeswoman Allison Adler said in an email Wednesday tetrachloroethylene has been detected in Paden City’s water system since around 2010 at levels below maximum allowable standards. She says the water system was assessed a violation notice in December.

Mayor Clyde Hochstrasser says the levels last year exceeded the federally allowed limit.

Adler didn’t disclose the source of the chemical, but Hochstrasser told the Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register the cause is likely from a dry cleaner that closed more than a decade ago.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, tetrachloroethylene is a likely carcinogen and can harm an individual’s nervous system, liver, kidneys and reproductive system.