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Driving Today News
Dec 28, 2011
Stopping Old Battery Exportation
A story recently published in The New York Times drew attention to spent lead-acid batteries and the trend of exporting them to Mexico and other developing countries. The fear is that we are sending dangerous waste to other countries where it will then harm the people of those countries.
“The 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,” writes Elisabeth Rosenthal, the author of the story.
Why is this happening? It’s a response to more stringent Environmental Protection Agency standards on lead pollution here in the United States. Instead, the potentially hazardous materials are being sent to countries with lower environmental standards and lax environmental enforcement policies. But Diane L. Cullo, director of SLAB Watchdog, says there is a solution.
“Keeping U.S. batteries here will protect the environment and help save American jobs,” says Cullo. “We urge GSA (General Services Administration) and EPA to include spent lead acid batteries in their decisions on e-waste.”
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