Lead in the air can cause workplace illness

It is well known that lead is a toxic substance. High levels of lead in drinking water have led to a major crises in various locations throughout the country. If lead in the water is a serious problem, elevated levels of lead in the air at a factory could also warrant being described as a serious problem. In California, that serious problem exists and can lead to serious workplace illness.

Recycling is normally considered an environmentally positive practice. However, one form of recycling, melting down car batteries to reclaim the lead contained in them, poses many potential dangers. One such plant in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles, Exide Technologies, may have endangered their workers by failing to adequately protect them from elevated lead levels in the air. Breathing air that contains elevated levels of lead is known to increase the risk for heart disease, kidney disease, reproductive issues, and muscle and joint problems.

Blood tests were taken in the above situation, and the results showed unacceptable levels of lead in many cases. Many workers suffered from abdominal pain, vomiting, chest pains and headaches. Cal/OSHA did impose fines on Exide Technologies.

When people go to work, they have a right to expect a safe work environment. If a person in California is concerned that his or her workplace may have the potential to cause a workplace illness, that person may benefit from a confidential conversation with an attorney experienced in labor law. A consultation with an attorney may aid the person in determining his or her legal recourse regarding his or her situation.

Source:, "Battery Blood: How California Health Agencies Failed Exide Workers", Joe Rubin, March 21, 2018

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