FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday, October 21, 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: ANGEL WALDRON, 301-446-3311 - Angel.Waldron@pgparks.com; or
CHANDA WASHINGTON, 240-565-2584 – Chanda.Washington@pgparks.com
M-NCPPC, Department of Parks and Recreation Confirms Safe Lead Levels
Local Playgrounds to Reopen to the Public Today
RIVERDALE, MD – The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation today announced the results of lead testing at two playgrounds in Prince George’s County. The results – no elevated lead levels – were determined by Air, Land and Water Engineering, Inc. (ALWE)*, environmental consultants licensed by the state of Maryland, which the Department contracted to perform lead testing at the following locations:
- South Bowie Community Center: 1717 Pittsfield Lane, in the city of Bowie
- Walker Mill Regional Park: 8001 Walker Mill Road
“The health and safety of our residents, especially our youth, is top priority for the Department,” stated Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Bill Tyler. “These assuring test results confirm what we already knew – our playgrounds are safe. We are pleased to now safely reopen these playgrounds for the enjoyment of our community.”
ALWE was contracted to perform lead testing and analysis of rubberized play surfacing, Poured in Place (PIP), in two parks in Prince George’s County. While there are no lead standards for rubberized play surfacing, the Department elected to use the most stringent standards, established by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for lead in bare soil in children's play areas, to evaluate the rubber bulk samples. This standard sets a limit of 400 parts per million (ppm) (or 0.04%). ALWE performed various samples: lead dust wipes (surface), bulk samples (base), and colored rubberized samples (top layer).
ALWE prepared various reports, see excerpts listed below, for full reports see web page here. The Department is proactively conducting lead testing at all of its other playgrounds with similar surfaces, and will post those results, when testing is completed, as well.
South Bowie Community Center playground:
South Bowie Community Center playground had five (5) bulk samples taken of the rubberized material on September 28, 2020. The light purple sample had a result of 237ppm, the gray sample had a result of 19 ppm, the brown sample had a result of 9 ppm, the green sample had a result of 16 ppm, and the black bottom layer sample had a result of 9 ppm for lead. Each of these are well below the 400 ppm standard. This PIP material was installed in 2010, and at the time of sampling, there were a few small patches near the gate entrance to the park. Another patch was also noted at the 'tail' of the dragon. A few holes were present where disks had been removed from the playground. The playground has six distinct colors of PIP material; gray, blue, green, brown, light purple, and dark purple.
Walker Mill Regional Park:
Walker Mill Regional Park playground initial testing had five (5) bulk samples taken of the rubberized material on September 28, 2020. The green sample had a result of 10 ppm, the brown sample had a result below the detection limit of 11 ppm, the red-brown sample had a result of 12 ppm, the blue sample had a result of 13 ppm, and the black bottom layer sample had a result less than the detection limit of 10 ppm for lead. Each of these are well below the 400 ppm standard. The PIP material was installed in 2012 and at the time of sampling, the only damaged area was below the swing area. Discoloration of the PIP material was noted in the water park area, and on the blue river area of the material (where the sample four (4) dust wipe was collected). This playground has many different colors of PIP material; green, light green, brown, red-brown, yellow-brown, blue, dark blue, black, etc.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:
The samples tested were all well below the Maryland standard for lead of 400 ppm, established by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on these results, the PIP playgrounds do not pose a lead-based hazard.
*ALWE environmental consultants are licensed in Maryland as Lead Inspector Technicians and Licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. as Lead Risk Assessors.