Community leaders requested Tuesday the urgent closure of a battery-recycling plant in Vernon, California, after a report was published showing the existence of lead pollution in this mostly Latino neighborhood.

The state Department of Toxic Substances Control released Monday the results of a study showing a high level of lead pollution in the subsoil of 39 homes.

"Our residents have the right to know the full extent to which lead levels constitute harm," State Sen. Kevin DeLeon, who represents the area southeast of Downtown Los Angeles, said.

As a result of the lead levels found in the homes examined and at a preschool center, authorities ordered a more detailed evaluation that could lead to closing down the Exide Technologies plant.

State Assemblyman John Perez, who represents District 53, which includes the contaminated area, also expressed his concern for this potential health problem, especially for children and pregnant women.

In April 2013 the Exide Technologies plant was temporarily closed by state officials after it was shown that atmospheric pollution was not adequately controlled in its installations. EFE