Lead levels near California battery plant were far beyond health limits

July 26, 2016

Hello BEST community,

Continuing to look at the remediation of soil and water contaminants, we shift our focus from removing uranium in groundwater, to removal of contaminated soil. In California, a closed battery plant has been found to be the cause of contaminating hundreds of residential homes in the surrounding area with lead. Lead is a harmful neurotoxin with the ability to cause permanent intellectual and developmental damage, with young children being especially susceptible. The majority of the released lead levels exceeded California's health standard for lead, with some homes having levels that classify the soil as hazardous waste. In light of this discovery, work is under way to clean up and remove the contaminated soil, protecting both people and the environment from further exposure. While prevention is key, when dealing with such high levels of contamination, immediate action to remove the hazardous material is the first step in stopping continued environmental and health related damage.

Erica Winstead

Undergraduate Intern

2016 BioEnergy & Sustainability School

Soil and Water Science Department

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