ABC Evening News for Monday, Oct 03, 1977
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(Studio) New government report says 1 of 4 American workers encounters dangerous pollutants on job; Labor Department proposes new policy for controlling cancer agents found in work places. One of these chemicals has been known to be dangerous for 40 years and still isn't controlled.
REPORTER: Barbara Walters
(Newark, New Jersey) Paints used in industry are usually made from substances known as chromates; pigments used in paints are manufactured in chemical plants, like one run by DuPont. There is long-standing thought chromates cause human lung cancer. [U. of Pittsburgh spokesperson Dr. Thomas MANCUSO - says there's excessively high risk of dying of lung cancer if one works in chromate plant; information has been known in United States since 1948.] Govt. hasn't regulated chromates as cancer-causing agent; there are some regulations with regard to amount of exposure to dust. DuPont says its workers are safe. [Plant manager Bob AKINS - cites improvements in past 10 years and says company feels workers are safe.] Some workers don't agree and have told reporter DuPont hasn't given them all information with regard to risk. OSHA is asked why chromates haven't been regulated. [OSHA spokesperson Grover WRENN - supposes agents like vinyl chloride or DBCP, for which there is new evidence for cancer-causing properties, get more attention of regulators than agent which has been known to pose cancer hazard for 40 years] Govt. says it's working on regulations to treat chromates as cancer-causers.
REPORTER: Bettina Gregory
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