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Why a U.S. Senator Is Calling for an Investigation Into the C-130

Kyle Mizokami
Photo credit: US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Carnes

From Popular Mechanics

  • Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the Department of Defense to look into claims Lockheed Martin instructed employees to work under chemically toxic conditions.

  • The senator claims employees were told to improperly apply chemicals, leading to health issues.

  • Whistleblowers allege the company ignored health and safety laws.

A U.S. senator has called for an investigation into defense contractor Lockheed Martin after whistleblowers alleged employees were suffering health problems. The problems stem from the alleged misuse of an adhesion promoter used on the fuel tanks of C-130J Hercules transport planes. Lockheed Martin has declined to comment on the allegations at this time.

Related: Closer Look At The C-130 Plane That Crashed Near Savannah

According to Defense News, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley asked the Department of Defense’s inspector general to investigate claims that Lockheed Martin ordered employees to improperly apply an adhesion promoter, PR-148, to the gas tanks of the C-130J Super Hercules. The C-130J is the latest in the long line of C-130 series transports operated by the U.S. Military, and is built in Marietta, Georgia.

Numerous whistleblowers have alleged that Lockheed Martin instructed employees to apply PR-148 in an aerosol form. The manufacturer of the PR-148, PPG Aerospace, states on its website that the chemical should be applied to a surface by “brush or dry gauze pad.”

Witnesses contend that spraying the chemical in aerosol form formed a “large blue cloud” the equivalent of “industrial strength airplane glue.”

On its website, the manufacturer warns that inhalation of PR-148 can lead to “adverse symptoms” that may include “nausea or vomiting, headache, drowsiness/fatigue, dizziness/vertigo, and unconsciousness.” Potential acute health effects include, “central nervous system (CNS) depression”.

Grassley claims that safety and health concerns were brought to the attention of Lockheed Martin but were reportedly ignored. The senator claims the government representative on site had become too friendly with Lockheed officials, and that the company had ultimately ignored labor and safety laws. The Iowa Senator has asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate the matter and make a report.

Source: Defense News

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