Lead found in air near Indiana factory

WHITING, Ind. — Federal and state environmental officials say a northwestern Indiana factory has repeatedly violated federal health standards by releasing alarmingly high concentrations of airborne lead in two cities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management accused Whiting Metals of the violations Thursday, based on three months of air quality testing in Hammond and Whiting.

The Chicago Tribune reports that air monitors installed near the company’s Whiting factory found average lead levels in the air between August and October that were more than twice the legal limit of 0.15 parts per billion.

Company officials didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Regulators are also working to remove soil tainted with the brain-damaging metal from dozens of properties in the two cities.