Parents are fearful that their children will be exposed to lead and mercury air pollution from a proposed steel-dust recycling facility.
But the highest exposure could come from contact with lead in the soil surrounding the plant and from consuming local fish containing methylmercury.
Janet McCabe, a professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, served as an administrator in EPA's Office of Air and Radiation after spending seven years as assistant commissioner in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Office of Air Quality.
"We know this is a city that has had a lead source (Exide Technologies) for a long time and is trying to climb out of non-attainment, and here comes another source with significant lead emissions," McCabe told The Star Press after reviewing the steel-dust recycling facility's construction-permit application. "So I would be very concerned about that. In terms of immediate impacts, lead may be more problematic than the mercury, though the mercury … is a huge amount."