Lead Testing Offered for Residents Living and Working near Exide Plant

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be offering free confidential blood lead screenings to residents who live, work, or go to school near the Exide Technologies battery plant in Vernon.

The confidential blood lead screenings will be available to the community beginning Monday, April 7, 2014 and will continue through the end of September.

Residents may call (844) 888-2290, starting Monday, April 7, for more information regarding blood lead screenings or to request lab requisition forms to be mailed to their homes.

The California Department of Toxic Substance Control recently conducted soil testing at homes, schools, and parks located near the Exide Technologies facility revealing concentrations of lead above the State recommended levels. State and County health officials do not consider these soil findings alarming, but because the results are above the level recommended by the State, further soil testing is warranted.

“I urge concerned residents to take advantage of the free lead testing for themselves and their families,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer.

“There are many sources of lead in our daily environment,” Dr. Fielding continued. “However, it is clear that Exide Technologies has emitted unacceptably high levels of lead and other toxic chemicals into the surrounding communities for years. Given the history of repeated violations at this facility, it is hard to understand why Exide Technologies has been allowed to continue operation before the State has made a final determination to either issue or deny the facility’s operating permit.”

Screenings will be provided by appointment or walk-in at Quest Diagnostics Laboratory facilities. Residents can take their laboratory requisition slips to any of the designated labs in the area in order to receive the free testing.

Community members who wish to sign up for a laboratory requisition slip will be requested to provide their address, telephone, and work/school location if applicable.

Public Health will mail individual test results to residents as they become available. Overall results of the blood screening tests will be discussed with community members at the conclusion of the screening effort in approximately six months.

An informational meeting will be held on Thursday, April 3 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 5757 Telegraph Road, Commerce, CA 90040. Residents are invited to drop-in anytime and receive additional information regarding the blood lead screenings offered to the community. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions; receive assistance with signing-up for the blood lead screening; and gather information about lead screenings, laboratory locations, and operating hours.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: @LAPublicHealth.