‘Lead hazards’ found at Fayetteville elementary school

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The Cumberland County Public Health Department and Cumberland County Schools issued a warning Friday that a recent study found lead hazards in areas accessible to students and staff at Montclair Elementary School, according to a release.

RELATED STORY: Lead found on exterior of elementary school in Fayetteville

Cumberland County Public Health Director Buck Wilson and Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Till will be sending a letter to parents of students at the school to notify them of the lead investigation.

The school system has “implemented measures to eliminate student exposure” to the lead that was found in the school, the release states. Students will also be barred from having access to those areas while officials work to eradicate the hazards.

“The chances of lead exposure in a school are almost nonexistent,” Till said. “In the long term we want to replace them. But in the short term you can paint over them. As long as there is not a chip in the paint, painting over something is quite adequate as long as you encapsulate it.”

Water samples that were collected at the school did not register any lead levels. Ingestion of lead-contaminated dust is the primary route for lead getting in a child’s blood, officials said.

The release states that no student is known to have elevated blood levels, but the public health department will be offering free blood lead-level testing for students.

The health department is located at 1235 Ramsey St. and parents are asked to call (910) 433-3600 to make an appointment. The hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours every Tuesday until 7 p.m. No appointment is necessary but one is recommended

If parents have any questions or concerns about the health effects of lead or about the blood test, contact Sandra Shipley, Cumberland County Health lead nurse, at (910) 433- 3689.

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