Nearly 50K tests over 5 years find lead paint in NYC schools: report

Maya Rajamani
August 13, 2020 - 12:48 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Nearly 50,000 tests conducted in New York City schools between 2015 and 2019 confirmed the presence of lead paint, according to a report. 

Safety inspectors conducted thousands of lead paint tests during that time period, and 49,314 of those tests were positive, confirming that lead paint was present in 655 different schools, the New York Post reported, citing Department of Education data obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request. 

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Of the 49,314 positive tests, 38,164 were conducted in classrooms, the outlet reported. A total of 1,335 of the positive tests were conducted in kindergarten classrooms, according to the outlet. Two hundred and eighty-four positive tests, meanwhile, were conducted in play areas. 

Matthew Chachere, a staff attorney with the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation Legal Services, told the outlet children — particularly those under the age of six — ”need to get tested and find out if they’ve ingested anything.” 

“When the city is finding these kinds of things, parents ought to know,” he said. 

A Department of Education spokesman told the post Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration “has done more than any before to eliminate the dangers of lead in schools.” 

“We’ve gone above and beyond by testing every single classroom for young students multiple times and even expanded to cafeterias and libraries,” he said. “We took action to address the 1 percent of the rooms that tested positive, and will continue our mission to get that low number even lower.”