Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Activist finds lead paint dust at Portland school with young children present


Portland schools appear to have continued to give parents and students false assurances about environmental safety at schools, based on a lead awareness activist's tests at a North Portland Head Start center where the district had said paint scraping posted "no safety concerns."

Tamara Rubin, the executive director of the Lead Safe America Foundation, used a sophisticated lead meter to test that paint at the former Applegate Elementary, now used to house Head Start classes. She detected high levels of lead in paint in multiple places that were scraped while preschoolers learned in a nearby classroom with its door open on Friday.

Portland Public Schools has admitted it had failed to inform staff at Applegate Elementary, which houses the Native American Youth and Family Center's Head Start program, that it was scraping and repainting over old paint. But a spokeswoman told The Oregonian/OregonLive no one was in danger and the district would stop the work while children were around only to reduce panic.


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