Elevated Lead Levels Found at Homes and School Near Battery Recycling Plant

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Elevated levels of lead have been found in the soil of homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in southeast Los Angeles, prompting officials to issue health precautions and order expanded testing in additional neighborhoods.


A protester wears a face mask during a rally outside Exide Technologies in Vernon. (Credit: L.A. Times/ October 30, 2013)

State toxics officials said the initial testing of 39 homes and apartments as well as two schools concerned them enough that they ordered Exide Technologies to create a plan for more testing and to protect children pregnant and women living in the area.

This marks the first time state officials have found widespread ground contamination in residential areas near Exide. The testing occurred this year in  Boyle Heights and Maywood.

The state found that every home tested had lead contamination in the soil that exceeded California’s screening level of 80 parts per million. One home in Boyle Heights had samples above 580 parts per million. The preschool, which is farther north, was at 95 parts per million.

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