We’ve written before (here, here, and here) about National Guard troops exposed to an orange, sand-like dust at the Qarmat Ali water plant near Basra, Iraq. Soldiers complained of health problems, including burning eyes, nosebleeds, and rashes. They were told that the orange dust was just a mild irritant – but it turned out to be the carcinogen sodium dichromate. The plant was shut down in 2003.
Now, the Indianapolis Star reports that 16 Indiana Guardsmen have filed a federal lawsuit accusing KBR, the company in charge of rebuilding the plant, of concealing the risk that the troops faced.
In other news:
New York Times: Following reports of widespread labor abuses at a major producer of kosher meat products, panelists at a Yeshiva University discussion debated whether kosher considerations should include working conditions.
Associated Press: At a meeting of US trading partners, Western Hemisphere nations agreed to review labor and environmental practices with the goal of ensuring that trade helps their countries rather than hurting it.
Reno Gazette-Journal: EPA fined the Nevada Onion agricultural company $56,320 and charged it with failing to minimize workers’ pesticide exposures and provide them with decontamination equipment.
Capitol Weekly (California): A trucker speaks out in support of California’s regulation to clean up heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Examiner (Australia): The Australian Workers’ Union and Cement Australia have launched a study into the health of current and former employees at a plant that produced asbestos cement products from the 1940s upto the 1980s.