- A green, cancer-causing chemical made its way onto a Detroit-area interstate last week, causing a lane closure.
- Local officials said they were working to make sure the chemical didn’t end up in waterways.
- Chromium-6 can pose major health risks, and is used in many industrial applications like chrome plating.
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One lane of an Detroit interstate was closed over the weekend while crews cleaned up a spilled cancer-causing from a business nearby, the Michigan State Police said.
Green Hexavelent Chromium leaking from the basement of an electro-plating plant made its way onto the highway Friday night in Madison Heights, Michigan, a Detroit suburb, officials said. The cleanup was expected to take the entire weekend.
It was later advised a commercial building located on E 10 Mile Road, had been leaking the chemical Hexavelent Chromium. The chemical ran from the basement of the building, down into the ground and found its way thru a drain which empties onto east bound I-696.
— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) December 21, 2019
According to OSHA, the chemical, also known as chromium-6, is used in chrome plating, welding, spray paints, and other industrial applications. The safety regulator says contact with the chemical can cause asthma, eye irritation and damage, perforated eardrums, respiratory irritation, kidney damage, liver damage, pulmonary congestion and edema, upper abdominal pain, nose irritation and damage, respiratory cancer, skin irritation, and erosion and discoloration of the teeth.
Local officials said they were working in overdrive to make sure the chemical doesn’t end up in water supplies.
“Pollution knows no county or city boundaries. Our first duty is to protect our local water and we stand ready to assist our federal and state partners to contain this material. The federal EPA and state EGLE, as well as the Madison Heights Fire Department, are on site and my staff is in close communication with them to ensure that this material is captured before it can migrate to the lake,”Candice S. Miller, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner, said on Facebook.
Local station WDIV reported that the chemical likely came from a now-defunct business on nearby 10 Mile Road which was the subject of a 2016 cleanup and criminal case.