Tetrachloroethylene

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

Many residents in the small West Virginia town of Paden City are grappling with the news that the city’s water is contaminated with a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning called Tetrachloroethylene or PCE. 

Late last month, the city-run water authority sent a notice to residents warning PCE was present in the water at nearly three times the federal limit. The notice stated the water was safe to drink in the short term, but could lead to long term health problems including an increased risk of cancer.  

City officials are working on a fix, but some residents are asking both how long they’ve been exposed to the chemical and if that exposure may have impacted their health.