Follow-up testing at W. Salem warns of ingestion risk
Follow-up tests on the artificial turf football field at West Salem High School show “unacceptably high” levels of lead, according to an early look at the results by state health officials.
“In all regards, these results look high,” said Ken Kauffman, an environmental health specialist in the Public Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Services. “On its face, it doesn’t look good at all.”
Initial tests, conducted separately in July for the Statesman Journal and for the Salem-Keizer School District, revealed lead in the turf at West Salem’s football field. The newspaper’s tests found no lead in artificial turf fields at South Salem and Sprague high schools.
Additional testing conducted at West Salem High School for the newspaper, called wipe testing, sought to determine how much lead might be breaking down into dust or small particles. Wipe tests are designed to mimic what happens when someone touches turf. The small particles could be ingested by youths using the field.
The five wipe tests showed lead levels that ranged from a high of 642.2 micrograms to a low of 168.8 micrograms.
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By Beth Casper • Statesman Journal
August 28, 2008
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