Kansas Air Force Base Finds High Levels Of ‘Erin Brockovich’ Chemical

WASHINGTON — The cancer-linked compound made famous by the movie “Erin Brockovich” has been found in dangerous levels inside an aircraft hangar at McConnell Air Force Base, including its breakroom, according to documents exclusively obtained by McClatchy.

Hexavalent chromium can be used as an anti-corrosion agent and “it is found in paints and primers used on the KC-135 and to a lesser extent the KC-46,” both tanker aircraft that are based at McConnell. Contamination from the chemical compound was documented in multiple base memos from October 2019 to January 2020 that were obtained by McClatchy.

More than 50 personnel may have been exposed to the chemical, an October memo warned. A November test found that an airman had been exposed to levels almost six times higher than the permissible exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”

Tara Copp reports for the McClatchy Washington Bureau February 20, 2020.