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Five schools achieve non-detect level for water contamination

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Five schools that were found to still have 4-methylcyclohexane methanol in their water systems late last week have achieved non-detectable levels, according to a press release from the state Department of Education.

The schools are George Washington High School, John Adams Middle School and Andrew Heights Elementary School in Kanawha County; Buffalo High School in Putnam County; and H.E. White Elementary in Clay County.

Officials were still awaiting test results from Lincoln County High School, where MCHM also was detected last week.

"I hope these latest results provided by the National Guard will help assure parents, students and teachers that our schools are safe," state Superintendent Jim Phares said in the release.

"The results that are in for the impacted schools meet all standards. As always, student learning and student safety are priorities and I must commend our local superintendents for their quick and diligent work with health officials and the National Guard."

Last week, the West Virginia National Guard began a round of testing for Crude MCHM in public and private schools.

The six schools were highlighted by that round of testing as being well below the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's recommended "safe" level of 1 part per million, but not yet at the more rigorous 10 parts per billion screening level that the state's interagency team was directed to achieve by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin beyond the CDC guidelines.

All other schools in the affected area have non-detectable levels of MCHM.

Schools with additional questions or concerns are being asked to contact the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health at 304-356-4121.


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