11/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

More Lead Pollution? Battery Recyclers Resisting EPA Rules

Lobbyists for industrial battery recyclers charged over to the White House recently to crank up arguments against possible tough new regulations of lead, a key ingredient of automobile and other heavyweight batteries. The closed-door meetings were prompted by a court order requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to act by Wednesday to update its 30-year-old regulation of the dangerous pollutant.

EPA staff and an independent science advisory panel both concluded earlier this year that even though lead emissions have been slashed by 98 percent since it was removed from gasoline, remaining amounts should be sharply reduced to better protect public health. EPA's lead regulations have not been updated since 1978, and more than 6,000 studies have shown that exposure to even tiny amounts can cause childhood retardation, nerve damage, heart attacks and other serious problems.

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