"Newark Playground Stayed Unfenced Despite Contamination"

"Community advocates are outraged that a contaminated playground at a Newark public housing complex remained open, allowing children to be exposed to dangerous levels of lead."

"Newark public housing officials removed slides and other equipment today from a grassy playground area that tests five days ago showed was contaminated with hazardous levels of lead — and that regulators have known since May was located a few feet away from a former lead factory site.

Community advocates expressed outrage that the playground at the Terrell Homes public housing complex remained open until this morning — exposing children for months to hazardous levels of lead dust when they played in the area.

'I find it so incredible they have known about this for so long,' said Ana Baptista, environmental programs director for the Ironbound Community Corporation, an advocacy group for the neighborhood around the Terrell Homes. Baptista said she's had repeated conversations with the Environmental Protection Agency about why the playground wasn't fenced off or signs weren't posted – first last fall and again Friday and over the weekend."

Alison Young reports for USA TODAY February 20, 2013.

Source: USA TODAY, 02/21/2013