A Muncie man didn't think much about lead from a local plant. Until his wife got cancer.

MUNCIE, Ind. -- For more than 30 years, Jeff Keeler and his wife Robin have lived less than a mile and a half from Exide Technologies in Muncie, Indiana.

Robin was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia eight years ago.

"We always wondered since she got ill if that had anything to do with it," Jeff said. 

The Keelers have well water, and say they've never had it tested for lead. Jeff said in the four houses near his, three people have had cancer. 

In January 2012, the area near Exide tested at .29 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air. The EPA says the allowable airborne lead level is 0.15, but in recent years, the air quality at Exide has met federal standards. The EPA changed the allowable lead level from 1.5 to 0.15 in 2008. 

When the city tested for lead around the Exide plant, they found significant levels in some places, Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said.

"If this is continuing to be damaging to our children, the Muncie community will do the right thing and hold people accountable," Tyler said. 

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Fifteen children in Delaware County tested for elevated blood lead levels in 2016. 

"A little bit isn't ok," Jeff said. "We're getting older, but there's still a lot of young kids in this neighborhood that play outside everyday."

Exide does provide hundreds of jobs to a community that needs them.

"We've lost a lot of jobs here - especially for blue collar people," Jeff said. "Shut down? No, but if they can make it safer why don't they do it?"

The Delaware County Health Department has held two clinics in the last week, offering free lead testing. Officials say nobody showed up for either clinic. 

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management re-issued an air quality permit to Exide last week. 

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