Life in two neighborhoods near the Exide Technologies plant in Vernon has been disrupted.
According to officials from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), lead pollution has made it dangerous for children to play in the soil of their backyards, people must place mats inside and outside their entrances and if they plant vegetables, they must be in planters.
These are some of the recommendations that the authorities issued after analysis of a sample of 39 homes and one preschool revealed an elevated level of lead pollution. The tests were conducted because of a deal that Exide and the DTSC made last October, to determine whether there was pollution near the plant that produces between 100,000-120,000 tons of lead, from recycling 11 million batteries per year.
This result will lead to more tests. The longer it takes to shut down the plant, the bigger the damaging effects.
Today, officially, children and pregnant women are the ones in danger. How much longer must we wait until this environmental nightmare ends?
Exide is an example of everything that shouldn’t happen. First, it never got permanent authorization to operate (it always operated temporarily). Its history is filled with violations and fines, and the plant was shut down and then reopened by a judge.
The recommendations to neighbors to take precautions reflect a real danger to their health. It is not right for them to have to protect themselves in their homes, as if that were normal. It is not right even in Beverly Hills, and it should not be in Vernon and its vicinity.
From this page, we have previously called for the closure of the plant and for state authorities not to be so tolerant of an environmental polluter like Exide. The deadly results reveal the urgency of taking quick action.