Car and industrial battery recycling from US providers is starting to get a bad reputation in Mexico where the practice has caused chronic lead poisoning in children.
In a report by the New York Times officials have revealed that crude methods used to extract lead from the batteries along with low or nonexistent safety standards has led to ground water and other contamination around battery recycling plants.
During one soil sample test researchers found lead levels near a Mexico City schoolyard that were five times over the generally accepted level in the United States.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Mexico lead imports to China have more than tripled in the last three years to 150 million tons. In comparison U.S. battery recycling plants have had to lay off staff because strict environmental controls have led to a shortage of old batteries.
According to the director of Occupation Knowledge International:
“If we export, we should only be sending batteries to countries with standards as strict as ours, and in Mexico that is not the case.”
Do you believe that the U.S. should stop exporting batteries to Mexico until such a time that their factories are properly regulated and in order to keep the U.S. recycling industry free of layoffs caused by the cheaper and less safe Mexico recycling plants?
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