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NYT: Recycled Car Batteries Hurt Mexicans!

From an irony proof New York Times:

Lead From Old U.S. Batteries Sent to Mexico Raises Risks

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
December 8, 2011

NAUCALPAN DE JUÁREZ, Mexico — The spent batteries Americans turn in for recycling are increasingly being sent to Mexico, where their lead is often extracted by crude methods that are illegal in the United States, exposing plant workers and local residents to dangerous levels of a toxic metal.

The rising flow of batteries is a result of strict new Environmental Protection Agency standards on lead pollution, which make domestic recycling more difficult and expensive, but do not prohibit companies from exporting the work and the danger to countries where standards are low and enforcement is lax.

The Times finally has found an EPA regulation that it doesn’t like. But you have to wonder if there are any other EPA regulations that have caused US companies to export their work to other countries? Is that possible?

Mexican environmental officials acknowledge that they lack the money, manpower and technical capacity to police a fast-growing industry now operating in many parts of the country, often in dilapidated neighborhoods like the one here, 30 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Which, of course, can mean only one thing. We have to send Mexico a few more billion dollars to take care of this problem that we are causing. Just like we do for their drug wars.

Batteries are imported through official channels or smuggled in to satisfy a growing demand for lead, once cheap and readily available but now in short global supply. Lead batteries are crucial to cellphone networks, solar power arrays and the exploding Chinese car market, and the demand for lead has increased as much as tenfold in a decade.

And here we thought the Chevy Volt had the corner on the exploding car market.

An analysis of trade statistics by The New York Times shows that about 20 percent of spent American vehicle and industrial batteries are now exported to Mexico, up from 6 percent in 2007. About 20 million such batteries will cross the border this year, according to United States trade statistics, and that does not take into account batteries smuggled in as mislabeled metal scrap or second-hand goods. In September, more than 60 18-wheelers full of old batteries crossed the border each day, trade records show…

Of course, the obvious question here is how many of these batteries are being smuggled into Mexico by Obama’s Justice Department, so that they can then use this as an excuse to crack down on battery manufacturing in this country. – No wait. Obama loves car batteries. The bigger, the more dangerous, the better.

Anyway, in typical New York Times fashion, this article goes on for another 48 paragraphs and 2,483 words to describe the horrors facing Mexicans because of the lead in these car batteries.

But don’t The Times and Obama realize lead and other toxic chemicals in electric car batteries might turn out to be more dangerous to our water tables than fracking or any oil pipeline, such as the Keystone extension? After all, oil is not even toxic.

And yet somehow we never hear any of these dangers when The Times or Obama talk up electric cars. Why is that? And where are the environmentalists when it comes to the danger of car batteries?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, December 9th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “NYT: Recycled Car Batteries Hurt Mexicans!”

  1. mr_bill

    I keep wondering when Ralph Nader will write a book about how dangerous the Chevy Dolt Volt is and how it’s batteries are poisoning a nation of poor and downtrodden people who are all victims and being repressed by a bunch of bourgeoisie US caucasians.

  2. P. Aaron

    Zero about lead poisoning from Fast & Furious?

  3. GetBackJack

    P.Aaron for the win

  4. BigOil

    Having spent time in Mexico City – I believe thousands of spent batteries would make a nice park there.

  5. xdannyh

    “And here we thought the Chevy Volt had the corner on the exploding car market.”
    Steve this is exactly why we need you. This is a kind of “gut laugh” that makes the day bearable.

  6. wirenut

    Good One P. Aaron! Perhaps all that lead will be pointed north of the border someday.
    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io.....9fono.html
    Barry and friends, tried to start yet another war among Americans.
    The right to keep and bear arms. Flood the druggie’s with free guns, then have those same guns kill Americans. Hope and Change? I guess so.
    How many must die on either side of the border, for this buttpirate to win?

  7. canary

    1 of latest terrorist tactics is fill old batteries with explosives to transport them.

    and another way batteries are used to detonate bombs.

    IED generally consist of four components.power source, initiator, explosive, and switch. These components can be easily remembered by the acronym PIES(F). Each of the components is briefly discussed below.

    • Power sources. The majority of IED contain an electric initiator and, as such, require an electric power source. Batteries (a common power source) are manufactured in numerous shapes and sizes; in some cases, they can be cut and shaped to make detection more difficult. Most commercially available batteries can reliably cause an initiator to function. Mechanical action, such as a spring under pressure, can store sufficient energy to cause the functioning of a non-electric initiator

    U.S. recycles our poisonous light bulbs because the EPA is stupid.

    oh. And Mexico uses the batteries to make the dangerous Methamphetamine namely for California and Illinois. uh hum.

  8. chainsaw

    The growing demand for lead started in the fall of 2008.




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