Lead Levels in Soil Near LA-Area Battery Plant Prompt Health Warnings

"LOS ANGELES -- Elevated levels of lead have been found in the soil of homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in Vernon, south of downtown Los Angeles, prompting officials to issue health warnings and order more testing in adjacent neighborhoods.

State toxic waste regulators said the initial results from 39 homes as well as two schools concerned them enough that they have directed Exide Technologies to create a plan to protect children and pregnant women living in affected homes, as well as perform the additional testing.

This marks the first time state officials have found widespread ground contamination in residential areas near Exide, which is one of only two lead acid battery smelters west of the Rocky Mountains. The plant, opened in the 1920s, recycles as many as 25,000 batteries a day.

Exide officials said they are reviewing the findings."

Jessica Garrison reports for the Los Angeles Times March 11, 2014.

Source: Los Angeles Times, 03/12/2014