KLM investigating employees' exposure to toxic Chromium 6

A KLM plane at an icy Schiphol Airport, 12 Feb 2018
A KLM plane at an icy Schiphol Airport, 12 Feb 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

Dutch airline KLM will investigate whether individual employees were exposed to carcinogenic chromium 6, the company said in response to a demand for clarity from trade union FNV. The involved employees worked at the Regional Jet Center at Schiphol where airplanes of Martinair and Cityhopper, among others, were sanded, ANP reports.

According to the union, a report from 2016 showed that personnel at the Regional Jet Center may have been exposed to chromium 6. KLM said that the report only looked at the general risk that there was too much chromium 6 in the workshop. The results were shared with the employees. Based on these result, KLM will now further investigate individual employees.

The airline points out that chromium 6 has not yet been banned in aviation. KLM says it has measures in place to minimize the chance of exposure.

The municipality of Tilburg, the Railway Museum, and NS subsidiary NedTrain were recently held liable for exposing unemployed people to paint containing the carcinogenic substance during a work placement program. The RIVM also concluded that the Ministry of Defense is responsible for the serious health complaints that employees of five NATO depots suffered by working with chromium 6.