LANSING, Mich. — A factory in Livingston County has been ordered to stop emitting a chemical linked to cancer.
The county health department says tests revealed high levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the air near Diamond Chrome Plating in Howell. The levels are high enough to be considered a health hazard.
Diamond Chrome Plating has been based in the Howell community for the last 65 years.
TCE is a colorless liquid that evaporates quickly and has a sickly sweet odor.
Diamond Chrome has complied with an order to stop the emissions. There was a public meeting is on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Parker Middle School.
The health department said elevated levels of TCE can cause birth defects and raise the risk of kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Diamond Chrome uses TCE to remove grease from metal parts. Consultant Jim Colmer tells the Daily Press & Argus that the company is taking steps to correct any issues.
In a press release DCP said it has a long history of using TCE vapor degreasers for the purpose of removing grease from metal parts.
DCP said that it replaced its vapor degreaser in late 2018. The company said that since its installation, the new degreaser has been updated multiple times in order to minimize any potential release of TCE.
DCP claimed that it has met Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
However, after DCP along with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, tested soil and groundwater at and near the DCP site they found that the dangerous chemical emissions could be found in the soil, water and indoor air of structures nearby.
According to the Livingston Daily test result that came back showed .88 micrograms per cubic liter. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services determines the safe level for exposure is 2 micrograms per cubic liter.
Surrounding DCP are local residences, Bennet baseball field, a Dunkin' Donuts, a local church, and more businesses.
The residential structures that exhibited TCE detection were equipped with air purification units to filter out TCE vapors from the air.
DCP said they are working diligently to eliminate the use of TCE in the vapor degreasing process.
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