The NYC Dept. of Education released data on Wednesday on deteriorating lead-based paint in public schools and the results are not great for North Brooklyn. Over 900 NYC elementary classrooms, including 114 Brooklyn schools, tested positive for lead paint, with many tainted classrooms in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick, Chalkbeat first reported. 5,408 classrooms were tested as part of the inspection and it’s the first time DOE has released lead paint statistics.
The city’s classroom data (.XLS) release follows a June WNYC/Gothamist investigation of four schools that revealed “substantial levels of lead contamination from deteriorating paint inside four public elementary schools operated by the New York City Department of Education.”
An ongoing study by Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with the local community organization Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, has been testing Greenpoint’s soil for lead. Since this spring, the Columbia team has analyzed 264 soil samples from 52 neighborhood backyards. Their preliminary results show that 92% of Greenpoint backyards have soil with lead concentrations that exceed what the EPA considers safe for residential soil. Some of the soil samples exceed that mark by 7 or 8 times the safety limit — which makes them more adulterated than soil found in some polluted Peruvian mining communities. Continue reading →