Defense dept. knew toxic paint risks 25 years ago

no image
No image availableNL Times

Letters obtained from health and safety inspectors and minutes of meetings reveal that the Defence Ministry was aware of the health risks associated with carcinogenic paint since 1987, but did not take steps to protect staff until eleven years later, according to broadcaster NOS.

Nearly two hundred defence employees complained about chromium-6, a toxic substance in the paint and varnish used on tanks and fighter aircraft in a number of workshops. Earlier this month, a historical investigation was launched by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment to investigate all complaints.

One of the documents obtained by newspaper Volkskrant shows that the paint used on military equipment contained toxic chemicals eight times higher then the recommended levels.

The D66 party called upon Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert to account for and debate the issue in the House on Thursday.