KBR Inc. might have known and concealed from the US Army that a site KBR was contracted to clean up in post-war Iraq was contaminated with hexavalent chromium, yet KBR allowed Oregon National Guardsmen to work at the site unprotected.
This is an ongoing investigation that has led to several members of the Oregon National Guard bringing a lawsuit against KBR, Inc. for injuries these guardsmen sustained while under KBR's control in post-war Iraq.
KBR and its operating subsidiaries entered into contracts to clean up and restore the Qarmat Ali water plant in southern Iraq after the war in Iraq. The Qarmat Ail plant pumps water into Iraqi oil wells during oil production. The Quarmat Ali plant site was contaminated with sodium dichromate, a toxic chemical used at the site as an anti-corrosive. Sodium dichromate is almost pure hexavalent chromium, a highly toxic and well known carcinogen.
KBR managers allegedly knew that the Qarmat Ali water pump site was contaminated with high levels of sodium dichromate. Despite this alleged knowledge, KBR allowed Oregon National Guardsmen, British soldiers and American civilians to be exposed to hexavalent chromium for months without any warning or protection. From reports from persons present at the time, the following specific facts allegedly occurred:
1. When Oregon National Guardsmen and American civilians began experiencing nasal excoriation (bleeding of the nose), KBR managers told them on the site that the noise bleeds was due to the "dry desert air" and that the guardsmen could be "allergic to the sand." Indeed, reports from the Oregon National Guardsmen suggest that they were never informed by KBR of the dangers, even after KBR managers knew that blood testing of American civilians exposed onsite confirmed elevated chromium levels.
2. In August, 2003 60% of all workers at the Qarmat Ali site were experiencing symptoms of acute chromium poisoning.
3. During 2003, KBR managers recieved notice of the contamination and did not in turn notify the US Army or offer protective gear to Oregon National Guardsmen.
4. During this same time period, whenever senior KBR managers toured the Quarmat Ali site, those managers conducted the inspection in full Level "C" environmental protection, even avoiding skin contact.
Facts uncovered to date by many sources may reveal a systematic effort by KBR to conceal the truth about Qarmat Ali that continues to this day.
Name (Stock Symbol)
KBR, Inc. (KBR)
KBR, Inc. is an engineering, construction, and services company operating in the energy, petrochemicals, government services, and industrial and civil infrastructure sectors.
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