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Children Using Slide in Playground Treated for Exposure to Poisoning

monitor all activity in the area.

There was a lead poisoning scare in US school a few years ago when cracked and peeling paint on some windows in some schools had tested positive for lead poisoning.

Dr. Robert Adler, professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California and an expert witness had then observed a young boy running his hands over the classroom's contaminated windowsill and putting his hand into his mouth. The child, Adler noted, had just "ingested lead that will absorb into his body and stay there for many years." Adler added, "It doesn't take much lead to poison a child."

At a second elementary school in the Pasadena-San Marino area, investigators found children ingesting lead through hand-to-mouth contact at playground picnic tables. And at a school for children with learning disabilities, investigators found bright blue paint chips loaded with lead that had fallen off a wooden lattice and littered the playground.

Soil on playgrounds that are near freeways where decades of lead-bearing exhaust fumes have created lead deposits could be another source of toxicity for children, it was then warned. Soil often is contaminated by airborne lead particles that drop to the ground and become "a persistent, hard to remove component of the dust matrix."

Playground equipment is another possible source of lead contamination, a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed.

Factoring in amounts of lead on the equipment and children's absorption rates, CPSC researchers calculated that it would take only 15 to 30 days for kids ingesting paint chips the size of a pencil eraser to acquire lead poisoning above the 10 microgram level.


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