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Spent Batteries From U.S. Put Mexicans’ Health at Risk [View All]

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:53 PM
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Spent Batteries From U.S. Put Mexicans’ Health at Risk
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Source: NYT

The spent batteries Americans turn in for recycling are increasingly being sent to Mexico, where their lead is often extracted by crude methods that are illegal in the United States, exposing plant workers and local residents to dangerous levels of a toxic metal.

The rising flow of batteries is a result of strict new Environmental Protection Agency standards on lead pollution, which make domestic recycling more difficult and expensive, but do not prohibit companies from exporting the work and the danger to countries where standards are low and enforcement is lax.

Mexican environmental officials acknowledge that they lack the money, manpower and technical capacity to police a fast-growing industry now operating in many parts of the country, often in dilapidated neighborhoods like the one here, 30 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Batteries are imported through official channels or smuggled in to satisfy a growing demand for lead, once cheap and readily available but now in short global supply. Lead batteries are crucial to cellphone towers, solar power arrays and the exploding Chinese car market, and the demand for lead has increased as much as tenfold in a decade.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/science/earth/recycle...



How can Americans whine about all those illegal immigrants from Mexico without thinking about how this country has been trashing that country for years, from NAFTA to corn welfare to exporting our toxic waste there.
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