High Lead Levels Cause Concern in Palmerton

PALMERTON, Pa. -- A state report warning of high lead levels is causing some concern in Carbon County.

A park and a day care in Palmerton were two of the places with high lead levels, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The lead levels could be harmful to young children and pregnant women.

There was no one on the playground outside of West End Day Care in Palmerton, one of two places listed as having higher than normal lead levels in a new Department of Environmental Protection report.

Ronald Housman says the DEP found high traces of lead around the shed in the backyard area and he wants to put up a barrier for children and staff.

"The kids are safe," said Housman. "They are inside we are trying to resolve it."

Fewer than 20 kids attend the day care. Housman says tests were done late last year.

The DEP says soil samples show, "lead levels that exceed the statewide standard."

This comes a month after a federal study revealed that people who live in Palmerton may have been exposed to lead from air pollution by the nearby American Zinc Recycling facility.

"It is frustrating but unfortunately that comes with when you have a business you never know what you are going to get involved in," Housman said.

The West End Day Care was not the only place that had a high trace of metal. In fact, at the borough park, those numbers also exceed the statewide standard.

Amanda Everitt wasn't worried about high lead levels before, but now her son's health has this mother concerned.

"I guess they have been speaking more about it and that they are finding more traces of it, so him being so little, as to being more cautious about what he is intaking and everything," Everitt said.

The DEP says the next steps are to develop a second soil sampling plan but no word on when.

We called the American Zinc Company in Palmerton and its headquarters in Pittsburgh but we got no response.

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