Two schools and 39 homes in Vernon, California, situated near a battery recycling plant were discovered to have high levels of lead in the soil. Upon detection of these levels of lead, officials issued a health warning and ordered for more testing to be done in surrounding area to determine how far this contamination has spread.
State regulators have ordered Exide Technologies, the owner of the battery recycling plant in Vernon, to perform additional tests in the area and create a plan to protect those pregnant women and children living in the homes that tested positive for elevated levels of lead.
“Exide is studying the department’s response and will work cooperatively to conduct the requested additional sampling and the interim cleanup measures,” Exide Technologies said in a statement. “The health and safety of the community, as well as its workforce, are important to Exide, and the company is committed to investing in the Vernon facility to further reduce emissions and protect public health.”
The homes near the battery plant in Boyal Heights had an average of approximately 222 parts per million and in Maywood the average was approximately 160 PPM.
The level contamination does not pose a risk to adults living there, according to officials. It is more important to keep children away from soch lsontamination because even with limited exposure children can suffer learning disabilities.
Exide has been cited on any occasions for exceeding limits of lead emissions but company officials argue that emissions have plummeted recently and should be given permission to remain open.