THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government has apologized and agreed to compensate military personnel who contracted illnesses including cancer after working with paint containing the toxic element chromium-6.
The government's apology Monday followed publication of a critical report into the use of paint containing chromium-6 by staff at five NATO storage depots in the Netherlands from 1984-2006.
The report says that maintenance workers at the depots did not get sufficient information about the risks and, up until the mid-1990s, were not supplied with adequate protection.
Junior Defense Minister Barbara Visser says that her ministry "neglected to adequately protect these (former) colleagues and did not live up to its duty of care as an employer."
Visser says victims will get damages ranging from 5,000 to 40,000 euros ($5,860-47,000). It was not immediately clear exactly how many victims will be eligible.