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Battery Recycling Business Moves South of the Border

By Matt Dougherty
Published On: Mar 26 2013 08:13:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 10:26:29 AM CDT

Batteries being shipped across the bridge

EL PASO, Texas -

When you decide to get rid of your old car battery, do you really know where it's going?

Now, more than ever, there's a greater chance your old car battery's being shippped across the bridge into Mexico.

New studies explained by UTEP professor and head of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation state battery shipments to Mexico have gone up as 525-percent in the past seven years.

In January, 37 tons of car batteries were confiscated from a ramshackle storage area in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The environmental impact of so many batteries, all containing harmful chemicals including lead, is unknown.

Experts say the reason so many batteries are now heading south is because of softer regulatory control in Mexico.

Where U.S. battery recycling plants must conform to the strict regulations of the E.P.A., Mexico does not.

Not only are environmental standards significantly lower than in the U.S., but so are protections for workers.

Environmental experts say the lack of oversight allows for profit margins to be much higher for corporations looking to do business where cheap labor is readily available and regulations are lax.

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