Child tests positive for lead, prompting investigation at Baldwin school: officials

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A child has tested positive for lead, prompting an investigation at a Long Island school that found paint chips with the substance, according to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

A student at Shubert Elementary School in Baldwin has tested positive for lead, officials said Wednesday. The cause is not yet known, but the incident prompted a testing of the school.

Peeling paint was noticed on the exterior of the elementary school, and some paint chips tested positive for lead, according to a news release from Curran.

The interior was not presented as a risk.

The school has since been closed off, authorities said.

“As a precaution, we urge parents to alert their child’s pediatrician of the findings and to request a blood test that looks for elevated lead levels,” Curran said in the statement. “Children are at a higher risk because of the rapid growth and development of their nervous system and their tendency to put things into their mouths. Uniondale School District moved quickly to respond to DOH’s concerns. They have supported the investigation.”

About 50 new cases of lead-poisoned children were reported in Nassau County in 2018.

The state requires health care providers to test all children for lead with a blood-lead test at age 1 and again at 2, and should be assessed until age 6.

Additional steps you can take to protect your family include:

  • Make sure your children are screened in accordance with the law and medical guidance.
  • Use products and foods made in a location with lead-manufacturing standards, such as the United States.
  • Be very inquisitive about foreign products with no safety labels.
  • Keep children away from products that might contain lead, such as glossy metallic picture frames, decorative objects, and even sports equipment, such as lead fishing weights.
  • Avoid using imported products that may be contaminated with lead.
  • Renovate safely and use a contractor certified by the EPA.
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