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Potentially toxic dust release spurs probe vs. Calif. recycler

Keywords: Tags  metals recycler, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Panda International Trading, Pan Metals, CRTs, lead dust, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — A Los Angeles County recycler is being investigated by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for allegedly allowing potentially contaminated dust to leave the premises.

The state agency executed a search warrant at Maywood, Calif.-based Panda International Trading Co. Inc., also known as Pan Metals Co., after a routine inspection by the DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations.

The search warrant was issued based on evidence that black dust that is suspected to contain high levels of metals was being deposited on a sidewalk outside the facility. The company recycles lead-filled cathode ray tubes (CRTs), as well as appliances containing fluorocarbons. Investigators are unsure how the dust is being generated.

If the dust is contaminated, criminal or civil action could be taken, the DTSC said.

The company, which in 2009 was ordered to pay $21,500 for failing to clean up CRTs in an expedited manner, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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