Doe Run Peru Reports Drop in Emissions, Blood Lead Levels

Emissions from Doe Run Peru’s La Oroya facility and blood lead levels among workers and in the community have improved significantly, the company reported Wednesday.

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB via PR Web Direct) February 10, 2005 -- Emissions from Doe Run Peru’s La Oroya facility and blood lead levels among workers and in the community have improved significantly, the company reported Wednesday.

“When we bought the lead smelter in 1997 we committed to working to address the 75 years of health and environmental issues left by the previous owners,” said Doe Run Peru President Bruce Neil. “The work we have been doing over the last seven years in partnership with the community has resulted in real progress.”

Blood lead levels among workers are now down 31 percent from where they were when Doe Run Peru bought its metallurgical complex from the Peruvian government in 1997, Neil said, adding that reduced lead exposure at the plant translates to reduced lead exposure for the workers’ children as their parents are no longer bringing home lead dust on their clothing.

Additional investments in the community and in support of the medical outreach by the Peruvian Health Ministry have resulted in a 17 percent reduction in blood lead levels of those high-risk children identified in a company-sponsored study, Neil noted.

Doe Run Peru supports state health officials with efforts including funding and helping carry out health awareness campaigns with community groups and social workers to educate families on good hygiene and nutrition techniques to combat lead exposure. In addition, the company supports a local soup kitchen that provides a daily meal to La Oroya’s neediest children.

“We have spent more than $140 million so far and are going to spend an additional $150 million on health and environmental improvements that will build on this success over the next six years,” Neil said. “Our job will be done only when these health concerns are addressed for all the children in La Oroya and we are working with public health officials and making improvements every day.”

Doe Run Peru’s investments in facilities improvements have also resulted in significant progress on emissions, Neil noted.

“Emissions from our stack are down 30 to 40 percent, and we expect to report further reductions later this year,” he said. “In addition, we are on schedule on enclosing plant buildings – a significant source of emissions – and we have begun the initial work on a plant designed to remove sulfur dioxide from our airborne emissions.”

Discharges into local rivers have also been reduced by more than half and the company projects that it will have eliminated all discharges by the end of next year.

“We understand that our role in the community is about more than just providing jobs,” he said. “We take our work to improve health and the environment very seriously and are committed to improving conditions for the people of La Oroya.”

The Doe Run Company, along with its subsidiaries, is a privately held natural resource company focused on environmentally sound mineral production, recycling and metals fabrication. Based in St. Louis, the company and its subsidiaries serve as North America’s largest integrated lead producer and third-largest total lead producer worldwide, employing more than 4,000 people. The company and its employees are committed to keeping its operations and communities clean and safe while producing essential raw materials – lead, zinc, copper, gold and silver – that are needed for everyday life. Doe Run and its subsidiaries have U.S. operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona, and South American operations in Peru.

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Contact: Christi Dixon (314) 469-3500

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