News Release
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For Immediate Release:

October 16, 2015

Health Precautions for Communities near Exide Technologies

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reminds individuals in communities near the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, CA to take steps to mitigate the risk of lead exposure. Elevated lead levels may pose a health risk to individuals working or living in the area.

“Public Health is working to expedite the State’s assessment and cleanup so that conditions in the community are restored as soon as possible.” said Angelo Bellomo, Deputy Director for Health Protection, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “The State recently disclosed that as many as 10,000 homes may be affected by lead contamination in communities near Exide including Vernon, Commerce, and parts of Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Maywood and Huntington Park. At this time, the vast majority of homes have not yet been tested.”

Public Health continues to encourage individuals that have lived or worked near the affected areas to take precautions to protect their health. Until cleanup has been completed, Public Health recommends the following:

These precautions are suggested to minimize the lead exposure until cleanup is completed. The County continues to urge the State to complete assessment and cleanup as soon as possible to protect the health of the community.

Lead’s presence in the body can lead to toxic effects, and children are more sensitive to the harmful effects of lead than adults. Lead poisoning can damage a child’s brain and nervous system and can cause permanent learning and behavioral problems. Most children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick.

Residents with medical concerns, are encouraged to contact their regular healthcare provider. Individuals without health insurance or another source of health care may call the LA County 2-1-1 information and referral line. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 2-1-1 LA County services can also be accessed by visiting www.211la.org.

For questions regarding testing and cleanup of your home or business, contact the State of California Department of Toxic Substance Control at (800) 728-6942.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.




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