What is the Exide Cleanup?
- The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is testing for lead in soil, which may have been contaminated by Exide Technologies facility operations in Vernon, California.
- The Exide Technologies facility, located in Vernon, recycled lead from used automotive batteries and other sources. The facility is no longer operating.
- DTSC is testing soil at residential properties, schools, daycare centers, and parks in areas of Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Commerce, Huntington Park, Bell, Vernon, and Maywood.
- Properties with high levels of lead in soil, and high risk for exposure, will be cleaned up by removing contaminated soil, backfilling with clean soil, and re-landscaping.
What did Exide do?
- Exide operated a lead-acid battery recycling facility in the city of Vernon, CA.
- Exide is not currently operating, and DTSC is working to safely close the facility. When operating, it processed an average of 120,000 tons of lead per year, or approximately 11 million batteries per year.
- Based on soil testing conducted by DTSC, Exide’s contamination may potentially reach up to 1.7 miles away from the facility, which includes approximately 10,000 properties.
What is DTSC’s plan to expedite testing and cleanup?
- Assemblymember Miguel Santiago authored and passed Assembly Bill 118 which appropriated $176.6 million, passed by SB 93, to ensure all residential properties, schools, daycare centers, and parks within a 1.7 mile radius of Exide are tested.
- DTSC will use these funds to expedite and expand testing of all residential properties, schools, daycare centers, and parks around the former Exide facility in Vernon, CA.
- Properties with high levels of lead in soil, and high risk for exposure will be cleaned up.
- This means about 10,000 properties would be tested and about 2,500 properties would be cleaned.
How do I sign up for soil testing?
Check to see if you live within the 1.7 mile radius shown on the map above. You can also call DTSC at 1-844-225-3887. Only properties within this 1.7 mile area are eligible for soil testing at this time.
If you live within the 1.7 mile area, owners or tenants can give permission for soil testing by filling out and signing an Access Agreement form. Click on a below link for an Access Agreement form:
Property Owner Access Agreement
Once you have filled out the Access Agreement, print it, sign it, and send a paper copy to the address listed on the form. If you have any questions, call 1-844-225-3887.
What to expect next
- DTSC will contact you within 2 weeks to confirm that your Access Agreement was received. You will be contacted separately to schedule a convenient date for soil testing.
- The testing crew will take five small samples of soil in your front and back yard and will also test your outside paint for lead. You do not need to be home for the testing.
- Once the soil test results are confirmed, DTSC will let you know if your yard will require cleanup.
- If cleanup is needed, DTSC will schedule a convenient date for you. It takes about 3-4 days to remove the contaminated soil, replace it with clean soil, and re-landscape.
- After the cleanup, DTSC oﬀers an interior cleaning with a HEPA vacuum, and other surfaces cleaned to remove dust.
How can I help protect my family from exposure to lead?
Sources of lead include battery facilities and other industrial operations, lead paint and water pipes, and home renovation and hobby items. Exposure can occur through eating or breathing in this metal. To lower the risk of exposure to lead in soil:
- Cover bare areas of soil in your yard
- When possible, do not let kids play on bare soil
- Take oﬀ shoes before coming into your home
- Wet mop floors instead of dry sweeping
- Wipe windowsills and other surfaces where dust collect with a wet cloth
- Wash hands and toys often
How can lead affect my health?
- Eating lead or breathing high levels of lead dust can cause lead poisoning, which can damage the brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs.
- Children less than 7 years old and pregnant women are at higher risk.
- Lead poisoning can aﬀect children’s growth, learning, and behavior. Most children with lead poisoning do not look or act sick.
- A blood test can determine if a person has lead poisoning.
Blood Lead Testing Available
If you are concerned that the soil on your property may be contaminated with lead, please sign up for free and confidential blood lead testing. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning from any lead contamination source is for your child to get a blood test for lead.
- To set up blood lead testing, coordinated by LA County Department of Public Health, please call (844) 888-2290, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information contact the California Department of Public Health, or the LA Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: 1-800-LA-4-LEAD (1-800-524-5323).
For Additional Information on Exide Technologies
Visit DTSC’s website, or contact Mary Su Maurer, DTSC Public Participation Specialist at Mary.Maurer@dtsc.ca.gov, 1-844-225-3887.