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Hazard of lead exposure in the home from recycled automobile storage batteries.
Dolcourt JL; Finch C; Coleman GD; Klimas AJ; Milar CR
Pediatrics 1981 Aug; 68(2):225-230
Case reports of excessive lead (7439921) exposure in the home from recycled automobile storage batteries were presented. In the first case report, a previously normal 3 year old girl in rural eastern North Carolina with a 1 month history of weight loss, lethargy, and vomiting, was found to be suffering from lead encephalopathy. The 68 year old great grandfather of the girl was employed in a small scale operation that recycled automobile storage batteries. The family had burned two truckloads of discarded battery casings in the a wood stove over a 3 month period; 22 family members lived in the house. Dust samples obtained from the house showed 13,283 parts per million (ppm) of lead on a sofa and 41,283ppm of lead on the kitchen floor. The second case report involved elevated blood lead level in a truck driver working at a battery recycling operation in rural western North Carolina who operated an illicit battery recycling operation inside his home. Lead was melted down on the kitchen stove, lead waste products were discarded in the yard, and discarded battery casings were used to pave the driveway. Soil samples contained 12 to 49.2 percent lead. No symptoms of lead poisoning were observed in any of the family members. An appendix on sources of lead for lead workers' children was presented. A directory of lead smelters in the United States was also presented.
NIOSH-Author; Lead-compounds; Environmental-contamination; Lead-poisoning; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Acute-toxicity; Blood-analysis; Chronic-intoxication; Brain-damage; Children; Author Keywords: lead poisoning; lead encephalopathy; environmental toxins; storage batteries
Jack L. Dolcourt, Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Issue of Publication
NC; UT; OH
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division