Lead contamination found in three Durham parks
Two Durham parks are partially closed after city-hired contractors found dangerous levels of lead in the soil.
Why it matters: Chronic lead exposure is dangerous, especially for children. It can cause permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.
Driving the news: Contractors found eight soil samples with lead levels higher than the EPA threshold in East Durham Park, and seven in Walltown Park. All affected areas have been fenced off.
- Dangerous levels of lead were also found in the old Sign & Signal shop area of East End Park that isn't accessible to the public.
- None of the lead contamination was found in playground areas.
Catch up quick: The city hired a contractor after a Duke graduate student's research identified high levels of lead in East Durham, East End and Walltown parks due to the historic presence of trash incinerators.
The big picture: All three parks are located in predominantly non-white and/or low-income neighborhoods, INDY Week reports.
What's next: Further analysis of the soil. It's expected to be completed by Aug. 21 and after that, the city of Durham says it will hold public meetings to share the findings.
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