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Feds describe West Virginia chemical spill studies dealing with pregnancy, liver conditions

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Federal health officials are outlining new studies on the chemicals that spilled into West Virginia's largest drinking water supply.

The National Toxicology Program said in a Thursday memo that potential pregnancy and liver complications are among study topics.

One study will see if pregnant rats exposed to MCHM show birth defects or health issues in their offspring.

Another will see how the chemicals affect zebrafish and roundworms over their entire lifespans.

Researchers will also look at more subtle short-term changes to gene expression in rats' livers from the chemicals.

They will keep using computer modeling to predict harmful effects of the chemicals.

Study results should be available within a year.

The January spill at Freedom Industries contaminated 300,000 people's water for days.

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Online: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/west_virginia_chemical_spill_ntp_research_response_508.pdf

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