Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is seeking additional information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the manufacturing practices of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J aircraft after whistleblower reports stated that the program has resulted in significant health and safety concerns after utilizing an adhesion promoter, PR-148, as an aerosol.
In January, Grassley sent a letter to the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General (DOD OIG) requesting that they review whistleblower complaints and ensure that health and safety requirements were being met. The DOD OIG forwarded these concerns to the Air Force Office of Inspector General (AFIG) who then claimed that OSHA had determined the chemical’s use as an aerosol was safe. However, OSHA has repeatedly stated that they never specifically investigated the use of PR-148 as an aerosol at the manufacturing facility.
In a letter to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, Grassley requested information on this discrepancy, a copy of the letter AFIG referenced in their response and data on the potential impact on the health of employees using PR-148 as an aerosol.
“The application of this chemical, by this method, may have long term consequences for those applying the chemical as well as others involved in the manufacturing process nearby… Many of the symptoms the OSHA chemical expert listed, were symptoms that whistleblowers and employees had stated that they are experiencing, symptoms such as: cancer, skeletal malformations, and lung damage,” Grassley wrote.
“Recently, my staff has had several phone calls with OSHA experts regarding the details of the AFIG investigation. During these calls OSHA representatives said that they were unaware of any inspections at the facility in question other than a routine inspection in 2016. Furthermore, they informed my staff that my letter to DOD OIG was the first time they had been made aware of the misuse of PR-148.”
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.