The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

Regulations Leave US Lead Industry Out in the Cold

EPA regulations have forced the nation's only remaining primary lead smelter to close - and we could soon feel its absence. Read Transcript


Reporter: MOST PEOPLE

THINK OF LED AS A TOXIC

METAL.

TOO MUCH EXPOSURE IN THE

AIR, WATER OR FOOD CAN BE

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

THE E.P.A. HIGHLIGHTED SOME

OF THE HEALTH RISKS IN A

STATEMENT TO CBN, SAYING,

QUOTE,"INGESTION OF LED AT

HIGH LEVELS CAN CAUSE

CONVULSIONS, COMA, AND EVEN

DEATH.

LOWER LEVELS CAN CAUSE

REVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS ON

THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM,

KIDNEY, AND BLOOD CELLS.

EVEN VERY LOW LEVELS OF LED

IN CHILDREN CAN RESULT IN

PERMANENT DAMAGE IN THE

BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM,

SLOWED GROWTH AND A

ANEMIA."

BUT LED IS ALSO ESSENTIAL IN

SOME OF THE PRODUCTS WE USE

EVERY DAY.

IT IS MOST COMMONLY USED IN

BATTERIES, LIKE THIS ONE.

WITHOUT IT, YOUR CAR

WOULDN'T START.

LED APRONS SHIELD PATIENTS

FROM X-RAYS, AND IT IS USED

IN AMMUNITION, AND ALSO

PROVIDES A SAFETY BARRIER

AROUND NUCLEAR REACTORS.

WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT,

YOU USE 11 POUNDS OF LED

EVERY YEAR.

BUT AS OF THIS YEAR, THERE

WILL BE FAR LESS LED

AVAILABLE TO MEET A GROWING

DEMAND BECAUSE OF TIGHTER

E.P.A. REGULATIONS.

THEY ESSENTIALLY DROPPED

THE AMBIENT AIR STANDARDS

FOR LED BY 10-FOLD.

Reporter: IN ORDER TO

MEET THOSE NEW STANDARDS,

COMPANIES EITHER SPENT

MILLIONS ON UPGRADES OR SHUT

DOWN.

DORUN WAS WEREN' ONE OF

THOSE COMPANIES.

IT PUT $25 MILLION INTO

ENVIRONMENTAL IM

PRIEWSSMENTS IMPROVEMENTS,

THIS SMELTER THAT COULD TAKE

LED FROM THE GROUND AND

PROCESS IT.

BUT THAT WASN'T ENOUGH.

SO ON DECEMBER 31ST, THE

SMELTER CLOSED ITS DOORS.

MEANING THE U.S. COULD NO

LONGER TURN ORE INTO 99% 9%

PURE LED, AND NOW ONLY

SECONDARY OR RECYCLED LED

WILL BE AVAILABLE.

IN OPERATION FOR 120 YEARS,

THE HERCULIAN SMELTER

PROVIDED 90% OF THE LED IN

THE U.S.

NOW ALL LED WILL HAVE TO

COME FROM FOREIGN SOURCES.

AS A COMPANY, WE WILL

STILL PROVIDE LED

CONCENTRATE THAT CAN BE

TURNED INTO PRIMARY LED.

HOWEVER, THAT LED

CONCENTRATE WILL BE SENT TO

OTHER COUNTRIES, MOSTLY IN

EUROPE AND ASIA.

Reporter: CHINA IS

EXPECTED TO BE WHERE MUCH OF

THAT LED CONCENTRATE ENDS

UP.

BUT DORUN SAYS ONCE IT

LEAVES THE U.S., IT IS

UNLIKELY WE'LL BE GETTING IT

BACK BECAUSE CHINA WILL HAVE

ITS OWN USES FOR IT.

WE ALL KNOW THAT MOST OF

THE RAW MATERIALS THAT GO

INTO CHINA DON'T RETURN IN

THIS FORMAT.

THEY'RE EITHER USED BY THE

COUNTRY ITSELF TO DEVELOP

THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE OR

TURNED INTO FINISHED GOODS.

Reporter: THE FOLKS AT

DORUN HAVE PURSUED A CLEANER

ALTERNATIVE.

IT IS A PROCESS THAT

VIRTUALLY ELIMINATES ALL OF

THE EMISSIONS.

Reporter: BUT THE

E.P.A.'s CHANGING

REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT MADE

THAT TECHNOLOGY SIMPLY TOO

EXPENSIVE.

DORUN SAYS MORE

COMMUNICATION FROM THE

E.P.A. COULD HAVE MADE ALL

OF THE DIFFERENCE.

HAVING SOME INSIGHT INTO

THE DIRECTION THE E.P.A. WAS

TAKING, IN THIS EXAMPLE, THE

AMBIENT AIR STANDARDS, AND

PARTNERING WITH THE E.P.A.

IN SETTING THOSE THINGS,

WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH

BETTER CONDITION AND OUTCOME

FOR COMPANIES IN OUR

INDUSTRY TO MAINTAIN THE

VIABILITY OF OUR

BUSINESSES.

Reporter: LED MARKET

ANALYST NEIL HAWK SAYS ONLY

TIME WILL TELL IF THE GAP

LEFT BY THE CLOSURE OF THE

HERCULIAN SMELTER CAN BE

FILLED.

WHERE IS THE SUPPLY GOING

TO COME FROM?

I THINK GLOBALLY THE LED

MARKET IS TIGHTENING AND WE

CERTAINLY HAVE THE MARKET

MOVING INTO AN OVERALL

SUPPLY-DEMAND DEFICIT OVER

THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OR SO.

Reporter: CAITLIN

BURKE, CBN NEWS, HERCULIAN,

MISSOURI.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

CBN.com | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network