Surrounded by five freeways, residents of Boyle Heights are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution everyday.

Breathing this polluted air can result in negative long-term health effects; including higher than usual rates of hospitalization for asthma. Last month, the World Health Organization classified air pollution as a leading cause of cancer deaths.

Medical professionals say the elderly and young children are especially at risk.

Boyle Heights Beat youth reporters produced this audio slide show that takes a look at the problem facing the community and the need for improving the neighborhood.

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    Teresa Marquez

    First I would like to take this time to thank Boyle Heights Beat for their excellent concise article about Boyle Heights. Although, some amendment have been introduce to the rule 1420.1 and the introduction to Assembly Bill 1330 this year, by Assembly Speaker John Perez, apparently is not enough to stop EXIDE to continue to put 250,000 or more people in the east side of Los Angeles in imminent danger from dangerous toxic pollution of high level of lead, arsenic, benzene and more. Exide has been polluting our communities for years; Boyle Heights, City Terrace, ELA Incorporated, Montebello, Commerce, Maywood, Bell, and up to Huntington Park and part of south east LA, yet California has failed to have laws strong enough to stop the delinquency of companies like EXIDE. This company was ordered to shut down April 2013 due to constant violations in putting people’s health in danger, to only have a Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin to allow EXIDE to reopen with no stipulation to stop polluting the air and ground with toxic chemicals. They reopened in July 2013 only to again be written up for violations by AQMD and DTSC, eleven incidents causing health danger in eleven weeks, yet allowing this company to go on without regards to the people’s health. Legal Justice does not prevail for 250,000 Latinos in the east side. The State of California has failed to protect the people in every way, after numerous reports of high concentration of lead and arsenic in air, California agency can only write more violations, and the three strikes are way over due. It was a very sad day when the judge Luis Lavin of the Superior Court in Los Angeles allow Exide to reopen. In a crowded hearing room with East side homeowners and community people sad and listen to EXIDE song and dance about how they protect the people, lies, lies, no intention of good will, but protecting their billions of money, and our California Attorney General representative stood in court in total silence after given her name and rank, with no challenge to protect the people in any way. This alone proves that California does not have the adequate legislation to protect the people from imminent danger unless in a foreign country. Obama was ready to go to war for chemical war in a foreign country, yet in our own United States we have companies like EXIDE killing people, and endangering their health for the rest of their lives. Twelve years of EXIDE making billions, now they file bankruptcy to protect their billions, and the insult to California law makers and Governor Brown they requested the bankruptcy court to allow them to give millions in bonus for their employees, and the same time protecting them from any lawsuits against them from people they have injured and have cause their home to be devaluated due to the toxic area the properties are in. Recommendation to write to Governor Brown and demand protection from this companies, and ask him to shut down EXIDE as his first attempt to stop this environmental pollution of dangerous chemicals. This air pollution advances all the way up north of Vernon to Pasadena. Also write to your Congress person representatives and President Obama. Thank you for your help.

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