"Battery Recycler Exide's Problems Aren't Just Local"

"Exide has closed or suspended operations at its Vernon plant and two others. Since 2010, seven plants nationally have been linked to health-risk levels of airborne lead."

"Since she was 13, Tiffany Arroyo lived with the smoke and rotten-egg smell from an Exide battery-recycling plant just blocks from her grandparents' home in Laureldale, Pa.

"It was horrible, just horrible, to go outside and smell it," Arroyo, now 30, said of the recently idled facility. "And the stuff that came out of the chimney, you could see it just everywhere for miles. In the morning, you'd have dust on the car, like gray dust, and it would cover the grass."

So much lead dust poured from the plant, which Exide acquired in the 1980s, that it contaminated hundreds of residential properties including her grandparents' yard.

The emissions prompted the 1996 closure of a nearby park and lake, which only recently reopened. Exide has removed tainted soil from the 25-acre park, but Arroyo said she still won't take her 6-year-old daughter there to play."

Kim Christensen and Jessica Garrison report for the Los Angeles Times May 29, 2013.

Source: LA Times, 05/30/2013