Official Statements From Multipure And Berkey Water Filters Regarding West Virginia Chemical

waterdangerSince the West Virginia chemical spill that have affected thousands of people’s drinking water, I have been getting tons of phone calls and e-mails regarding this chemical and if  any of the filters I recommend can remove this toxin.

The West Virginia Chemical from the spill has been identified as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, (MCHM).

Acording to Wikipedia,  4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHMsystematic name 4-methylcyclohexylmethanol) is an organic compound with the formula CH3C6H10CH2OH. Classified as an alcohol, both a cis and trans isomer can exist. It is a colourless oil with a faint mint-like alcohol odor. Like other 8-carbon alcohols, such as 1-octanol, this compound is only slightly soluble in water but highly soluble in many organic solvents“.

The chemical, which smells like licorice, can cause headaches, eye and skin irritation, and difficulty breathing from prolonged exposures at high concentrations, according to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Residents were told not to drink the tap water, bathe in it or cook with the water and only use it for flushing and fire emergencies. Boiling it will not remove the chemicals.

I contacted both Multipure and Berkey water filters  regarding this chemical to see if they would comment on the effectiveness of their products to reduce this chemical and here are the responses.


“The chemical that was leaked in West Virginia is an organic chemical. This is a relatively unknown chemical that is not on the EPA’s organic chemical list to test for and for this reason we have not specifically tested this organic chemical compound, therefore we cannot say yes or no.

The organic compounds that we have tested for show the lowest removal rate was 86% removal, but the majority tested greater than 99% removal.

Without specific testing we cannot make any claim on this specific chemical, but the data suggest that we would likely be very efficient at removing the chemical, given that it is an organic chemical/compound.

New Millennium (BERKEY) ALWAYS recommends that you use the cleanest source of water available; however we understand that during emergencies a clean source of water may not be available”.


1) there is no NSF protocol for the reduction of MCHM.  Therefore, we cannot make certain claims whether the Multipure can take it out of the water, because we have not tested for it.
2) to further point number 1, we do not know the concentrations of this chemical, making it impossible to determine whether the filter will take it out.  It may reduce the levels of the chemical, but to what extent, we cannot predict.
3) this chemical is organic
4) the Multipure is one of the best carbon block systems, if not the best, at reducing levels of VOCs”.
So in essence, neither company can say that their filters can or will remove or reduce this contaminant. Be wary of companies that claim they can remove this contaminant. There is no NSF protocol for this chemical so no company can (as of yet) claim that they can remove it.