Nearly 600 exposed to carcinogenic paint in work placement program

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About 580 unemployed people in Tilburg were potentially exposed to toxic chromium 6 paint while sanding old trains in a back-to-work program, RTL Nieuws reports. 

A reintegration company put the unemployed people to work in an NS maintenance hangar in Tilburg. They sanded paint off old trains so that the trains could be re-painted. The paint they sanded off, and likely breathed in while doing so, contained the toxic and carcinogenic chromium 6, according to the broadcaster.

This happened between 2004 and 2011. At the time it was not known that the toxic paint was also used on trains. That was only revealed last year.

National health institute RIVM is currently investigating the dangers of working with chromium 6. So far it is known that the paint is highly toxic and carcinogenic. Hundreds of Defense employees and former employees reported to the Ministry with health problems after working unprotected with the toxic paint for years.