Workplaces use thousands of dangerous chemicals in manufacturing, production and construction. Many of these substances have been banned or restricted in other countries but are still allowed here in the United States.
Our latest investigation into the continued use of raw asbestos in the U.S. showed that OxyChem exposed workers to unsafe levels of the carcinogen for decades. Workers asked for additional protection, but the company and federal government agencies looked the other way, even as dozens of other countries banned asbestos. (OxyChem said the accounts from the Niagara Falls plant were inaccurate, but declined to say what specifically was incorrect. The company said it complies with federal regulations and prioritizes the health and safety of its workers.)
Now, we’re looking into other chemicals that may be hurting workers, their families or people who live near similar manufacturing plants. Some have slow effects and can cause cancers or other diseases after many years. Others are immediately toxic and can lead to death and injuries. We want to hear from people who have worked with these chemicals and people who may have been hurt by them.
We’re especially interested in:
- Asbestos, a silicate mineral.
- Methylene chloride, also called dichloromethane, a chemical used in paint thinners and manufacturing.
- Trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser used in manufacturing plants.
- 1-Bromopropane, a chemical used in manufacturing, dry cleaning and other applications.
- Dibutyl phthalate, a plasticizer used in adhesives, paints, furniture and more.
- Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), a flame retardant used in manufacturing.
If you know about harmful working conditions, community exposure to these chemicals, or other problems we should investigate, please fill out the brief questionnaire below. We’re also interested in speaking to people who have worn exposure-monitoring devices at their workplaces and would be willing to share the results of those tests.
We are the only ones reading what you submit. If you would prefer to use an encrypted app, see our advice at propublica.org/tips. You can message Neil Bedi on the Signal messaging app at 202-304-0825. Send questions to [email protected].