Sunday 15 September 2019

AkzoNobel settles mercury poisoning claim out of court

Photo: Akzo Nobel

Photo: AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has paid a former worker at its chlorine factory in Hengelo ‘several hundred thousand euros’ to settle a claim that his job made him ill, according to local paper Twentsche Courant Tubantia.

The man claims he was poisoned by mercury while working as a mechanic at the plant in 2003. The factory was closed in 2005.

A spokeswoman for AkzoNobel has confirmed the payment but refused to make any other comment about the specifics, news agency ANP says.

She said it had never been proved the man had been poisoned but the opposite could not be conclusively proved either. AkzoNobel decided to settle after years of legal proceedings, she said.

She said the company tested the urine of everyone who works with mercury since 1951 and guidelines have never been exceeded. Workers who showed raised levels were immediately switched to other jobs, she said.

‘We have always led the pack when it comes to safety,’ plant director Peter de Jong told Tubantia.

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