Fed health officials now calling West Virginia water ‘safe’

CHARLESTON (AP) — A federal health official says it’s safe to use water contaminated by a chemical spill in West Virginia last month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously labeled the water “appropriate for use” by everybody, but not “safe.”

Agency spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said the word choice doesn’t change guidance. Reynolds said Monday the agency wanted to recognize the desire of some to use the less scientific term ‘safe’ when discussing chemical levels in the water.

The Jan. 9 spill in Charleston tainted 300,000 people’s water for up to 10 days.

Last month, the CDC advised pregnant women to consider a different water source days after many people were told to drink the water. The CDC has since said everyone could have used the water when the ban was lifted.

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