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Electronics recycler faces OSHA fines over lead exposures

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An Ohio electronics recycling facility was cited by federal regulators and faces $56,850 in proposed penalties after exposing its employees to lead hazards.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Waverly, Ohio-based Echo Environmental Waverly L.L.C. last week for six serious and three other-than-serious health violations after receiving a complaint alleging workers were exposed to lead hazards, the agency said Thursday in a statement.

An OSHA inspection found the company exposed workers to lead above the permissible exposure limit, failed to monitor exposure levels, and did not require the use of protective clothing or provide laundry and disposal containers for contaminated clothing, according to the release. Echo also allowed food and beverages to be consumed in areas where lead was likely present and failed to properly label containers with material containing lead, according to the agency.

“Occupational exposure to lead can cause long-term health effects,” Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati, said in the statement. “The company must make immediate changes to its procedures to ensure workers are not exposed to lead or carrying it home with them from their shift.”

The Waverly facility is a subsidiary of Dallas-based Elemetal L.L.C. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.