"Exide Technologies' decision last month not to seek state permission to expand production at its Frisco lead smelter doesn't mean public health concerns are over.
Even with no expansion, airborne lead levels around the 45-year-old vehicle battery recycler are among the highest measured anywhere in the country. As recently as last year, they came close to the Environmental Protection Agency's legal limit for lead in the air.
That limit is being replaced by a tighter, more scientifically robust federal standard that is needed, a huge body of research shows, to protect children and others from a substance known to be toxic in almost unimaginably tiny doses. Lead levels around the Exide plant are routinely five to eight times higher than the new limit. "