Batteries set for recycling of the kind at Exide plant.

Los Angeles County health officials and volunteers will be going door-to-door Saturday, visiting thousands of homes near the former Exide battery-recycling plant in Vernon to see if residents have health issues, link them with available services and provide them with educational materials.

“These residential communities have been unjustly exposed to hazardous living conditions for decades,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Thousands of people still have not been given appropriate information about the contaminants or been connected to the appropriate resources to improve their lives.

“It is important we continue connecting our residents to the information and support they need to protect their health and their families,” she said.

Health officials and more than 1,500 community volunteers will be taking part in the outreach effort, visiting more than 20,000 homes within a 1.7- mile radius of the plant that closed in March 2015. The participants will survey residents about their health issues or concerns. The homes are in Bell, Boyle Heights, Commerce, Maywood, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park and Vernon.

The outreach effort will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. After the effort, county health officials will prepare a report that will be publicly released.

“We want to ensure that the county understands the concerns of residents within the Exide area and that the residents are supported in their right to live in healthy neighborhoods and homes,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

County officials have been pressing state regulators to expedite the cleanup of about 400 homes closest to the plant, noting that they have hazardous waste-level lead contamination. The state has allocated millions of dollars toward testing and cleanup operations at homes near the plant, and Exide committed to invest $50 million to remediation efforts at the plant and surrounding neighborhoods.

–City News Service

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