Stop the Use of Toxic Hexavalent Chromium in Vehicles

Stop the Use of Toxic Hexavalent Chromium in Vehicles

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Ecology Center Ann Arbor started this petition to CEO Ford Motor Company Jim Farley and

Protect Workers, Water, and Communities: 

Stop the Use of Toxic Hexavalent Chromium in Vehicles

Dear Automaker CEOs,

Between July 30 and August 1, 2022, an auto parts supplier, Tribar Manufacturing, discharged a large amount of hexavalent chromium to the Huron River watershed in southeast Michigan. The release has shut down recreational use of the river, closed businesses, and threatens to poison the drinking water of more than 120,000 people downstream. 

Hexavalent chromium (also known as “chromium-6”) is a carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant for both males and females, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization. In addition to cancer and reproductive harm, short and long-term exposures can lead to eye and respiratory irritation, asthma attacks, nasal ulcers, dermal burns, anemia, acute gastroenteritis, vertigo, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, convulsions, ulcers, and damage or failure of the liver and kidneys. It is a major safety hazard to workers, a threat to drinking water supplies, and a source of contamination in over 1,000 sites across the United States.

We call on Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, and Toyota to immediately cease doing business with, or utilizing parts from, any supplier using hexavalent chromium. These facilities violate industry supply chain standards and endanger worker and environmental health.

Hexavalent chromium is so toxic that it was banned in Europe through the EU’s End of Life Vehicle Directive, which restricted its use in the auto industry, leading to an outright ban in Europe by 2007. The chemical was also banned by the U.S. Army in 2021; and by the State of California, whose phase-out will be finalized in 2024. There are commercially available substitutes for hexavalent chromium whose performances meet current specifications.

All of these companies have made strong public commitments to sustainability goals, and many have prominently advertised your environmental bona fides in product and brand marketing. There is absolutely no excuse for responsible corporate citizens to continue purchasing products from suppliers that use hexavalent chromium.

We call on these companies to immediately cease doing business with, or using parts from, any supplier using hexavalent chromium. 

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