Research Reveals Alarming Toxic Lead Levels at Playgrounds
Research Reveals Alarming Toxic Lead Levels at Playgrounds

A team of scientists at the Plymouth University carried out a research to assess the composition of paints that are applied on the playing equipments installed at 50 parks across Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire and Somerset in England. The research revealed that the level of the toxic lead at the parks was up to 40 times higher than the recommended levels. These levels are highly dangerous for the young children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has lead among its list of the top 10 chemicals that are primary reason for public health concern. The level of lead that is approved under the European guidelines in 1977 for the playgrounds is a maximum of 0.25%. However, the playing equipment installed at a Plymouth-park that was constructed in 2009 was assessed to contain 10% of lead.

Meanwhile, an expert Dr. Andrew Turner stated that presently the US and several European countries have set the safe level of lead at 0.009%, implying that the Plymouth park’s lead level is over 1,000 times higher than the set level.

Lead is more of a threat for children, as compared to adults since the bodies of the former are still in development phase. The ingestion of lead is capable of resulting in neurological and cognitive issues. "You'd expect the older playgrounds to be more dangerous as people have become more aware of the dangers of lead, but our findings suggest that this isn't the case”, said Dr. Turner.

In addition, another chemical in the list of the WHO’s top 10 harmful chemicals is cadmium, which was also detected in the playground equipment paint. Dr. Turner reported that the government should levy more stringent controls on the domestic and imported paints that are applied on the equipment at the playground, as well as the equipment that are pre-painted. Yellow and red paints contained the maximum levels of lead, according to the research.

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