WHEELING, W.Va. (CN) – Seven National Guardsmen from West Virginia say KBR knew about the hexavalent chromium contamination at its Qarmat Ali water plant project in Iraq and dangers the chemical posed to U.S. and British soldiers protecting the site. Several guardsmen say they have respiratory system tumors consistent with chromium poisoning.
The guardsmen say they were unknowingly exposed for “months and months” to the deadly carcinogen used in sodium dichromate, an anti-corrosive.
Several guardsmen say they have respiratory system tumors that are consistent with hexavalent chromium poisoning, while others are racking up health care bills to treat the numerous other problems caused by exposure.
Exposure to the chemical causes nosebleeds that toxicologists call “chrome nose.” The guardsman say KBR managers told them they were suffering from dry desert air and sand allergies – a repeated complaint in such lawsuits, which have been filed in multiple jurisdictions.
The plaintiffs say the liability rests with KBR, which profited handsomely from numerous restoration projects in Iraq – not with U.S. taxpayers.
They seek compensatory and punitive damages, and are represented by Michael Simon with Frankovitch Anetakis, of Weirton, W.Va.