Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Please voice your support for a strong, health-protective rule by submitting your comment to the EPA today.

WV chemical spill shows how little we know

January 15, 2014

Last week, an industrial chemical used in coal processing seeped from a ruptured storage tank and contaminated the water supply serving some 300,000 West Virginians. Although some residents have been told they can drink their tap water again, officials are still struggling to determine how much danger the little-known chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, poses to health.

This industrial accident highlights a key flaw in our system of chemical regulation. The chemical that contaminated West Virginia's Kanawha Valley is one among tens of thousands of industrial compounds that are on the market today without any publicly available hazard or safety data.

The law governing industrial chemicals, the Toxic Substance Control Act, passed in 1976, "grandfathered in" thousands of chemicals like the one contaminating West Virginians' water. This meant they could be marketed without any safety testing or data. As a result we know very little about whether these chemicals are harmful to our health.

Tell your senators that you want real reform of the Toxic Substance Control Act. True reform will protect all communities' health, including hot-spot communities.

Take Action »

Action Alerts

More action alerts»


  • Annual Report 2012

    PSR is pleased to present its 2012 Annual Report to our members and other stakeholders. Read more »

  • Toxic Chemicals in Our Food System

    What chemicals are in the food we eat? Chemicals are used in every step of the process that puts food on our table: production, harvesting, processing, packing, transport, marketing and consumption and can be dangerous to our health. Read more »

  • Fracking: Harm on the Farm

    Chemical exposures that harm farm animals and wild animals raise concern about health risks for people living near fracking sites, as the animals use the same water and breathe the same air as humans. Another, indirect concern for human health also exists: in multiple known cases of chemical exposure, cows continued to produce dairy and meat for human consumption, although it remained untested for chemical contaminants. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • July 17, 2014
    Our Best Opportunity to Cut Climate Change
    We need you to take action now! Tell the EPA that its proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants Is vitally important and on the right track – but can be strengthened.