Last year Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have tightened scrutiny of the amount of lead absorbed by workers. Assemblyman Ash Kalra has vowed to pursue passage of his measure with 2019’s Assembly Bill 35.
The problem in California doesn’t appear to lie with finding out about lead-poisoned workers, but with what happens — or doesn’t happen — when some state officials get that information.
California allocated $176 million to test and clean 2,500 lead-threatened properties surrounding the closed Exide battery plant near downtown Los Angeles. To date only 335 parcels have been cleaned.
Why would Disneyland, which hosts thousands of kids every day, be part of an effort to defeat a bill that simply requires reporting of blood-lead levels high enough to produce heart disease and serious brain disorders?
Battery recycling is considered one of the most potentially hazardous industries. Yet Vernon’s Exide workers were routinely being poisoned with nearly nonexistent intervention by Cal/OSHA.