The playgrounds and grassy areas at Ulysses S. Grant Intermediate School in Trenton, New Jersey, are sealed off after tests run by the Environmental Protection Agency showed elevated levels of lead.
The EPA reached out to the district in December requesting to take soil samples from two schools in addition to hundreds of other properties in East Trenton.
On Monday, the district sent out notices to families that the soil and grass at the Grant School showed lead levels that were too high.
“The kids play out here,” said parent Cynthia McGlothan. “My son’s been here almost two years and they play in this yard every day.”
Years ago, Trenton was home to more than 150 pottery factories and lead was widely used.
“Lead as a pigment was very popular because you could get a lot of different colors from lead just by changing the chemistry that was associated with it,” explained Brian Buckley, executive director of Rutgers University’s Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.
He says lead exposure is difficult to treat and the best thing to do is to remove it from the environment.
“We worry most about kids because of severe neurodevelopmental issues and perhaps behavioral issues as well,” said Buckley.
Source: Philadelphia ABC Action News – January 31, 2024
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