The state departments of Health and Labor and Industry are shutting down Water Gremlin in White Bear Township, after it was discovered lead products made at the plant caused lead poisoning in workers’ children. And the state departments are also asking a Ramsey County to issue an injunction. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says “we’ve asked the court to order the lead operations at the plant closed until they’ve taken necessary steps to protect workers’ children from lead poisoning.” And Malcolm says “we’ve not taken this step lightly, we recognize the hardships this could pose to workers and their families, and also to the owners and operators of the plant, however, efforts by Water Gremlin to control worker exposure to lead dust and worker lead dust contamination in the plant have not been adequately successful.” The shut down decision comes after an on-site inspection over the weekend. Ramsey County Public Health investigators have determined that at least 12 children of workers at Water Gremlin had elevated blood lead levels.
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