Environmental Science/mchm chemcial


Hello I dont know if you can help me or not or know  anything about this chemical MCHM But my state had a chemcial spill into our  water MCHM It cleans  coal that all they know We were not supposed to used the water drinking bathing or cooking  And i  was taking care of dementia patient And forgot and turn  the water on It probaly wasnt  under there a minute I realize what i  did pour a bottle water over it  And it burn my hands next day there was  a blister   went to the doctor  he gave me a steroid cream it seem to help the bilister on the palm of my hand But my hand is still swelled and my hand startied hurting to were you couldnt touch it I went to another doctor treated has perhiphal neurapathy gave me neurontin  It has been 5 months and my palm is still swelled on the skin and burn flares up here and there I didint know if you could tell me what i  could do Sorry so long but need answers very  frustrated Thank you Carolyn

First:  I'm no doctor, and can only speculate on what your exposure levels to MCHM. First, I want you to look up the material safety data sheet on MCHM.  You can get it by doing a search for "MSDS MCHM", and it will return information on 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol.  Again, speculating, you got a chemcial burn, but I can't be sure about that. Look at the data on the exposure to rabbits (dermal).
I'm guessing again, but it's a bit of a deep chemical burn which may have attacked the fatty tissue in the skin (and yes it's there even if you are skinny).
Next I want you to check http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+8182
and download the page and give it to your physician.
You may have a deep burn that may take a while to heal. The compound is nasty stuff. It may take a skin graft to help heal it, but then I'm no physician.  According to the information I reviewed, you may have some compensation coming from the coal company for your injury, but that's a legal matter.  Get it fixed first by taking the information to your local doctor. Get a diagnosis that the chemical caused your injury, and then you may be able to take legal action to collect for pain and suffering, but the diagnosis comes first. And that diagnosis should say something to the effect that your injuries were cosistent with exposure to MCHM.
Sorry that I can't be of much more assistance than that. But feel to write back and I'll help where I can.
Dave Russell

Environmental Science

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David L. Russell, PE


I`m a Chemical,Civil and Environmental Engineer and have a number of projects in all phases of the environment. I have worked in the chemical industry and am active in professional societies, and am currently on an industrial wastes committee for the Water Environment Federation, and have taught courses in remediation in the US and abroad. I have written one book on Remediation of petroleum Contaminated Sites, and have a second book on PRACTICAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT to be published by John Wiley in September, 2006. I've also written over 30 articles on various elements of environmental problems and cleanup. Most Recently, I have addressed a NATO Scientific and Techical Conference on Ecoterrorism, and have worked with the same group on remediation of sites contaminated with Chemical Warfare Agent materials and othe materials as well. . I can answer q`s about Chemical and Environmental Engineering, land development, air pollution, water pollution, soil and water cleanup, combustion, international environmental problems, industrial processes chemical processes. Civil and Environmental and Chemical Engineering. Overall, I have over 35 years of experience in this area. Note: I do not answer homework questions


I love work in the third world and developing areas because it is challenging and one can get a sense of accomplishment.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.