In Italy, lead recycling from discarded electric storage batteries has been developing on an industrial scale, with a yield of approximately 98% and a saving of 37% on lead imports. Moreover, battery plastic coverings can also be profitably recycled. However, the recovery industry has proved to be very polluting, as shown by the recent example of a factory sited in a vast agricultural area south of Milan, Italy. Lead in the atmosphere affects workers exposed to lead concentrations above A.C.G.I.H. standards while lead in wastewaters and fumes from smelting furnaces is the cause of environmental pollution. In particular, pollution over large tracts of cultivated lands surrounding such factories is shown by the considerable quantity of lead in forage which is harmful to cattle fed on it. Tests on dead oxen have revealed lead concentrations in kidneys and liver ranging from 9.1 to 17.4 mg/kg and 6 to 7 mg/kg respectively. Quantities exceeding safety limits have been found also in cattle blood and milk, with maximum values of 51 ..mu..g/100 ml and 0.072 mg/1 respectively. These results prove the need for extremely efficient control systems in this particular recovery industry. (author).