Fright #2: Cable recyclers get lead poisoning
A UK-based firm that recycles cabling pleaded guilty to exposing workers to lead, and was ordered to pay approximately £75,000 in fines and costs. An investigation concluded the firm significantly exposed more than 90 workers to lead when those workers stripped the lead-sheathed copper cable that came from British Telecom after the carrier upgraded to fiber-optic cabling. Workers were insufficiently protected against lead exposure, as the recycler did not make adequate ventilation, face masks or respiratory equipment available. Workers did wear gloves, but carried out their duties wearing their own clothing, thereby potentially spreading lead to other people in their own homes. Blood testing revealed significantly high levels of lead, and six workers had to be hospitalized for treatment.