County Health Officials Conducting Survey of Residents Living Near Former Exide Battery-Recycling Plant

Los Angeles County health officials and volunteers went door to door Saturday conducting health surveys of residents who live around a shuttered battery-recycling plant near downtown, which is blamed for decades of lead emissions spread across seven southeast communities.

County health officials are conducting surveys of residents who live near the former Exide Technologies battery-recycling plant in Vernon. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The group’s efforts are focused on residents who live within a 1.7 mile radius of the former Exide Technologies battery plant in Vernon, organizers said. The targeted neighborhoods are in Bell, Boyle Heights, Commerce, Maywood, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park and Vernon.

Lead, a potent neurotoxin, is most dangerous to young children who can ingest contaminated soil or dust. Even small amounts of the metal cause permanent learning and developmental deficiencies, lower IQs and behavioral problems.

State regulators are testing thousands of homes to determine whether they must be cleaned of lead-tainted soil. They also have tested some schools and parks in the area.