Gopher Resource in Tampa, FL Exposed Workers & Residents To Dangerous Levels Of Lead
If you or a loved one were exposed to high levels of lead while working at or living nearby Gopher Resource, you may qualify for significant compensation. Time is limited to file a claim. Fill out the form below to see if you qualify.
Gopher Resource Tampa Battery Smelter & Recycling Plant exposed workers to multiple toxins
Tampa Bay Times reporters spent 18 months examining thousands of pages of regulatory reports and company documents, including data tracking the amount of lead in the air and in workers’ blood. They interviewed more than 80 current and former workers, 20 of whom shared their medical records.
The following are the investigative findings:
- Gopher workers exposed to airborne lead at levels well beyond federal limits.
- As a result of lead exposure at the Gopher plant, workers have an increased risk of high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.
- Gopher knew its factory had too much lead dust, but the company disabled ventilation features that captured fumes and moved slowly to fix faulty mechanical systems.
- Workers were left vulnerable, wearing respirators that couldn’t protect them when poison levels spiked.
- Federal rules required that Gopher provide regular checkups, but the company-contracted doctor didn’t tell workers their blood-lead levels put them in danger. When employees had health problems that could be tied to lead exposure, he cleared them to work.
- Gopher rewarded employees with bonuses if they kept the amount of lead in their blood down and punished those who couldn’t, a practice that alarmed medical experts and ethicists.
- Dust from the plant has been the suspected cause of lead exposure in at least 16 children — the sons and daughters of employees who unwittingly carried the poison home in their cars or on the soles of their shoes.
- Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulators haven’t inspected the factory for lead contamination since 2014 and missed critical problems in previous visits.
Gopher Resource exposed hundreds of workers to high lead levels for a decade.
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