What We Know About The Corpus Christi Water Contamination

December 19, 2016 - Uncategorized

On Wednesday evening, December 14th, Corpus Christi residents were directed not to shower or drink the tap water after a chemical found it’s way to the city’s water supply.

The contaminant was from an emulsifying agent, Indulin AA86, of which anywhere from 3 to 24 gallons of the chemical got into the city’s water supply during a “back-flow incident” in an industrial area within Corpus, according to a press release from The City of Corpus Christi (which you can read here in it’s entirety).

They also cautioned against trying to de-contaminate the water by oneself by boiling or other means.

An emulsifier is a chemical that is designed to keep two chemicals together that would otherwise separate (oil and water for example).
What is Indulin AA86 and How Can It Affect You?
The contaminant that affected the Corpus Christi water supply, Indulin AA86, is a chemical whose name is trademarked by a company called Ingevity South Carolina LLC and is apparently used for a variety of commercial chemical applications. While there’s not a lot of information about the side effects of Indulin AA86, a Material Data Sheet on Oregon’s state website, shows us the following information regarding this fluid that has entered our water supply:

  • It’s deemed a hazardous material by OSHA
  • It’s corrosive to the respiratory system, to the skin and to the eyes.
  • It causes burns to skin and eyes.
  • Serious effects may be delayed following exposure
  • It causes damage to the following organs: upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes, lens or cornea and may cause damage to the digestive system and the gastrointestinal tract.

It goes without saying that these symptoms are terrifying to our community and has put our collective health at risk. At the time of this writing, not much information is available to the exact cause of this public health scare, but we can be certain that there will be a tremendous amount of resources put into investigating what exactly caused this.