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Parks focus of lead clean-up

Wednesday, 27th May, 2015

Summer Milne (4) makes sure to wash her hands after playing at Sturt Park. Summer Milne (4) makes sure to wash her hands after playing at Sturt Park.

A further $220,000 in funding has been allocated to reduce children’s exposure to lead while in local playgrounds.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Broken Hill City Council have joined forces and started work on reducing lead exposure in playgrounds.

Works at Duff Street Park and Patton Street Park were identified as the priority playgrounds.

Work at Duff Street Park has already begun and work at Patton Street Park, plus additional work at the Duke of Cornwall Park, will be carried out in the coming weeks.

Preliminary surveys and inspections have already been carried out, with further work including installing extra signage, roofing and hand washing facilities, as well as high pressure cleaning and some soil removal.

EPA Program Manager Peter Oldsen said that while it was a priority to reduce the risk of exposure for children right now, it also was important to make sure there were adequate systems in place to protect the health of the wider community and local environment in the longer term.

“Lead contamination in Broken Hill is a concern for the EPA. We will continue to work closely with key local government, community and health groups to prioritise the playground sites and to ensure the appropriate work is done to reduce risk as quickly and effectively as possible.”

City Council General Manager Therese Manns said the partnership was an important step in reducing lead exposure in children.

“While Council will play an important role in this project, the fact remains that hygiene, particularly washing hands after children have used play equipment, is very important in reducing lead exposure.”

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