BOYLE HEIGHTS ( — Dangerous levels of lead detected in the air near a controversial factory in Vernon have nearby residents on edge.

The Exide plant, the largest car battery recycling plant in the West, has been cited for releasing toxic levels of lead and arsenic into the water and air.

While the Air Quality Management District has ordered the facility to cut production and revenue by 50 percent to ensure Exide does not emit high lead levels into the air and does not exceed federal health standards, people in neighboring communities are concerned about the plant’s longterm impact.

“It’s great, but the concern is still there,” Boyle Heights resident Miguel Garcia told KCAL9’s Suraya Fadel.

The plant recycles early 42,000 car batteries daily.

Officials at the L.A. County Health Department Wednesday said they are still working on orchestrating a massive screening so that folks can get tested for any kind of lead poisoning.

While production may not be underway next door to Garcia’s home, he says he worries about potential health risks and hazards and is considering it.

“These chemicals affect the most – children and senior citizens,” he said.

“I would like to get tested because I would like to know for my own sanity and peace of mind.”

The fate and future of the plant, which has claimed bankruptcy, is unknown.

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