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Reply #4: Lead in used U.S. batteries put Mexicans at risk [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:13 AM
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4. Lead in used U.S. batteries put Mexicans at risk
Source: New York Times

Originally published Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 8:49 PM
Lead in used U.S. batteries put Mexicans at risk

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.

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
The New York Times

NAUCALPAN DE JUREZ, Mexico 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 (EPA) standards on lead pollution that make domestic recycling more difficult and expensive but do not prohibit companies from exporting the work.

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

Lead batteries are crucial to cellphone towers, solar-power arrays and the growing Chinese car market, and the demand for lead has increased as much as tenfold in a decade.



Read more: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20169...
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