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A local petition drive urges automakers to stop buying parts with carcinogenic chemicals after Huron River contamination

Auto factory
Auto factory

A renewed call for action has emerged following the release of carcinogenic hexavalent chromium into the Huron River this past summer. The environmental concerns were raised when Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom released some of the chrome-based chemicals into the river.

During a Thursday evening forum hosted by the Huron River Watershed Council, participants expressed a need for the auto companies to stop using any part made with the hexavalent chromium.

Jeff Gearhart is research director at the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center. He encouraged the public to join a petition urging Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, and Toyota to immediately stop doing business with any supplier that uses hexavalent chromium.

“Importantly, the auto industry needs to take leadership and responsibility for their supply chain. They have done this historically. They know how to do this and work with their supply chain, and we think they can do that.”

Gearheart says hexavalent chromium is so toxic, it has already been banned in Europe and California. He added that safer alternatives for the chrome-based product are available.

A link to the petition to the automakers can be found here.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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