NO! The metal-shredding process is NOT a threat to public health. California’s major metal recycling facilities use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures to protect public health and the environment.
California’s major shredding facilities are spending millions of dollars to upgrade structures and equipment to minimize the potential for any process materials to escape the facility. These measures are ongoing and are effective in controlling off-site releases.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has never produced any scientific evidence that metal-shredding facilities pose a threat to public health or the environment.
DTSC conducted three continuous days of ambient air monitoring at three different shredding facilities. No toxic air contaminants were detected in excess of air quality standards.
California shredders have been operating safely for more than 50 years. The facilities are located in industrial and port areas, well away from schools, homes and other sensitive uses. In some cases, longtime neighbors are not even aware of their presence.
While fires can occur at metal-shredding facilities, these are not common occurrences. Rigorous fire prevention and control practices are followed by all facilities.
Shredder facilities are closely regulated by state boards and agencies, including regional air and water boards, as well as local agencies referred to as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA). These agencies are charged with the responsibility of enforcing environmental regulations and inspect shredding facilities on a regular basis to ensure they are operating in compliance.