Chromium-6 traces found in groundwater at Tata Steel plant

The Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden is a major source of CO2. Photo:
The Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden. Photo:

Traces of carcinogenic metal Chromium-6 have been found in groundwater at the Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden, according to research carried out by the North Sea Canal Area Environmental Service.

The local public health service says there is no risk to the safety of residents as the substance is underground and no drinking water is extracted from beneath the steelworks. However, the Indian steel-making giant must conduct further environmental research in the area.

Tata Steel has come under fire in recent years for pollution and associated health problems. A report from the regional health board in June connected higher levels of heart disease and high blood pressure to people living in the area to fine particle emissions from the plant.

Earlier this year, the public prosecution department started a criminal investigation into the possible illegal dumping of hazardous substances into the local environment by both Tata Steel and another company, Harsco Metals Holland.

Chromium-6 is used in industrial coatings and paint and is largely safe when in solid form. Small particles, however, can pose a danger to human health.

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