Saturday, January 18, 2014

FAQ sheet from CDC on exposure to 4-methylcyclohexene methanol leaves more Qs than As

A frequently asked questions sheet from the CDC concerning the Consumption of Water by Pregnant Women at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services uses the phrase "We have no information" three times,  "no known risk" 3 times and "Short term exposure at these levels is not likely to" five times.

The information provided is also somewhat confusing ... they say this about drinking water

Question: Will this chemical harm my fetus (unborn baby) ?
Answer: There are no known studies showing harm to the fetus as a result of consuming water with MCHM levels below 1 ppm. Although there is no information that suggests harm to the fetus, out of abundance of precaution, pregnant women may wish to consume bottled water until levels of MCHM are undetectable in the water system.

But then say this about cooking with the water ...

Question: May
I go to restaurants or can I cook with the water?
Answer: Yes. You may continue to use tap water for cooking. It is also safe to consume food which may have been prepared using tap water, as with food cooked in restaurants.

BUT - boiling water does not remove 4-methylcyclohexene methanol, so this doesn't make much sense.

They also say that
Question: May I use ice made with tap water?
Answer: Out of an abundance of caution, if you prefer your drinks cold, use
bottled water to make ice or use ice made with water collected after levels of MCHM are undetectable in the water system.

So, frozen water they suggest against, liquid water than suggest against but say that you can cook with it?  I wouldn't order the soup.

Finally ...

Question: May I make my baby’s formula with the tap water?
Answer: Yes, however, if you have a special needs child, for example a premature baby, check with your pediatrician. 

is also not terribly reassuring to me really. They have practically no information on this chemical but say that it is okay to feed to a baby.  Um. 

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