WVa Pregnant Women Worry About Late CDC Water Warning After Chemical Spill


Dr. Stephen Bush, chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department at West Virginia University in Charleston, said he, too, was confused by the delay in the CDC's warning, but "we have to take what they are telling us as truthful.

"All of my patients have been erring on the side of caution anyway," he said. "With them, it's not been a problem, but it could potentially cause others to have fear. But we have to rely on what the CDC has come up with and take them at their word that it is not a truly dangerous toxin at less than one part per million concentrate."

Of course, there is always concern about whether the chemical could cause miscarriages or anomalies to the baby, said Bush. "But according to the CDC it is safe, although it's only in animal studies, and who knows what will happen in 30 years," he said.

But Lesley Rathbun, a nurse-midwife and president of the American Association of Birth Centers, said she would "be very concerned' about the effects of this spill on pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

"The big thing is it's an unknown," said Rathbun, who founded the Charleston Birth Place in South Carolina. "Nobody knows what this chemical is or what it can do, or how much is not good. Pregnant women have all sorts of things they can be worried about when pregnant, and they have to have some sort of trust in the state and federal agencies."

In the meantime, Kayrouz said she would continue to drink bottled water, and would shower only in warm temperatures to minimize how much of the chemical she might inhale.

"I am sure thousands of people -- bright, educated people -- have started drinking and showering in it when they could no longer smell it in their homes," she said. "But I had friends who collected rain water all weekend. ... We know so little."

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