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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Maui man's body recovered

WAILUKU, Maui — The body of a 39-year-old 'opihi picker was recovered by firefighters Sunday from the waters off Kahakuloa.

One of his two companions called authorities at about 11:35 a.m., officials said. The Department of Fire Control helicopter spotted the man floating in the water an hour later and recovered the body at about 1 p.m.

As of last night, police had not released the name of the man.

Chemical in water probed

WAILUKU, Maui — The Maui Board of Water Supply is looking into complaints that a chemical being added to Upcountry water systems may be the cause of a mysterious skin irritation.

The board has directed Water Director David Craddick to ask state health officials about possible side effects of having zinc orthophosphate in drinking water. The chemical known as C-9 was introduced in June 2001 to combat excessive levels of lead, which apparently was being leached out of pipes and fittings. C-9 binds with the metals in pipes to prevent further leaching.

A number of Upcountry residents believe they developed skin irritation from the C-9 in their tap water.

Board member Virginia Parsons said her husband, Dale, suffered from a mysterious skin irritation that went away when they spent time away from their Makawao home.

Excessive levels of lead found in water taken from the taps of Upcountry homes led to the introduction of C-9, according to Don Yasutake, an environmental engineer with the Safe Drinking Water Branch of the Health Department.

After the county began using the chemical, the water in Upcountry homes tested below the "action level" for lead contamination, he said.