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Scientists announced last month that the chromium industry withheld reports that showed lung cancer was affecting workers exposed to low levels of hexavalent chromium – a metal to which approximately 380,000 U.S. workers are exposed.

Researchers at George Washington University claim that the chromium industry intentionally manipulated data that showed chromium is carcinogenic at lower levels so OSHA would allow a less strict workplace standard.

The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen Reports:

“Anticipating that OSHA might attempt to reduce worker exposure to hexavalent chromium, in 1997 the industry commissioned a study that would combine the mortality data at four sites – two in the United States and two in Germany. The study, completed in 2002, showed a significantly elevated risk of lung cancer death when workers were exposed to lower levels of hexavalent chromium. The study protocol explained that multiple study sites were necessary to gain sufficient statistical power. The industry never published this four-site study, not did it provide the findings to OSHA. Public Citizen did so in June 2005.”

The LA times has more on the danger of hexavalent chromium.

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