Local Journalism Initiative

Poisoned

Hundreds of workers at a Tampa lead smelter have been exposed to dangerous levels of the neurotoxin. The Tampa Bay Times investigates the profound consequences.

Part 1: The Factory | Part 2: The Failings | Part 3: The Fallout

This investigation, carried out with support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, won a George Polk Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

Related Stories

County Cautions Public About High Lead Around Tampa Factory
Government monitoring devices around Gopher Resource measured lead levels well above federal air-quality standards.
Tampa Bay Times
February 20, 2022
Tampa Lead Factory Faces $518,000 Fine for Environmental Violations
The proposed penalty would be the largest in the history of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.
Tampa Bay Times
January 22, 2022
A Tampa Lead Factory Hurt Workers. Here’s How to Avoid a Repeat.
Experts say the solutions could include adding new reporting requirements and increasing the frequency of inspections.
Tampa Bay Times
December 24, 2021
Regulators to Step Up Monitoring of Tampa Lead Factory
A county in Florida plans to increase testing around Gopher Resource’s lead factory and use a new, randomized schedule following a Tampa Bay Times report.
Tampa Bay Times
December 11, 2021
POISONED: Part 3: The Fallout
Gopher Resource promised changes at Tampa’s old lead factory. It kept polluting. Records show the company pumped lead into the air and mishandled hazardous waste.
Tampa Bay Times
December 2, 2021
OSHA Fines Tampa Lead Factory $319,000
The lead smelter was the subject of a recent Tampa Bay Times investigation.
Tampa Bay Times
September 30, 2021
Public Health Officials Urge Lower Lead Limits
The American Public Health Association is pushing for sweeping changes to the federal rules designed to keep lead workers safe after a Tampa Bay Times investigation into a Florida lead smelter.
Tampa Bay Times
September 29, 2021
Cadmium Spiked Inside a Tampa Lead Factory. Workers Didn’t Get Help.
For years, the company’s contracted doctor failed to flag abnormal test results and provide the required follow-up.
Tampa Bay Times
September 23, 2021
Federal Lawmakers Call for Penalties for Tampa Lead Factory
Regulators, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, found Gopher Resource ran afoul of environmental standards.
Tampa Bay Times
July 10, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Ran Afoul of Environmental Standards, Report Finds
The inquiry was spurred by a Tampa Bay Times investigation into hazardous conditions at the plant.
Tampa Bay Times
July 1, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Gets Credit Downgrade
An ongoing federal probe, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, was a key factor in the decision, the credit-rating agency said.
Tampa Bay Times
June 29, 2021
Former Worker Sues Tampa Lead Smelter Over Son’s Exposure
The worker alleges dusty conditions at Gopher Resource, Florida’s only lead factory, resulted in his son’s lead exposure.
Tampa Bay Times
June 2, 2021