NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Students in New York City’s public schools return from summer break next week, but recent test results have come out showing an extensive lead problem in many of the city’s elementary schools.
The New York City Department of Education revealed that about 20 percent of 8,000 classrooms inspected tested positive for lead.
The Department of Education is in the process of painting over the lead painted walls so the classrooms are safe. In a statement, a DoE spokesman told FOX 5 NY: “All work will be done by the first day of school, and while our focus has been on the classroom where kids spend the most time, moving forward we’re enhancing our protocols around common space.”
“We worry more about kids for a couple of reasons,” said Dr. Morri Markowitz, Director of the Lead Program & Safe House at Montefiore Hospital. “One is that they’re more likely to eat something with lead because they continue to explore the environment in a hand-to-mouth manner.”
Markowitz says that the DoE is off to a good start, but that he would like to see the department test every school building in the city.
“Lead is a dangerous metal for everyone, any living thing, essentially,” Dr. Markowitz said.
The Department of Education is also sending out letters to families if their children were exposed to lead last year.