Crews from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will begin testing this weekend for lead paint issues at 189 of its community centers across the five boroughs.
NYCHA expects the tests will take two months to complete, with results submitted on or about March 31. The tests will include visual assessments and XRF (x-ray fluorescence) testing, which uses high-tech devices to determine lead levels in paint.
According to NYCHA, the 189 community centers house programs for children under the age of six. These youngsters are most at risk of developing lead poisoning if they inhale or consume paint dust or chips contaminated with the heavy metal. Fifteen of them have already been tested with negative results.
The city has already notified families who use the community centers of the upcoming lead paint tests — all of which will be conducted on weekends or after-hours to avoid program disruptions. A notice of evaluation will be placed on each building entrance 15 days after final results of the tests are received, NYCHA noted.
Similarly, NYCHA will notify residents of centers where lead paint problems are found. This will serve as a prelude to corrective action.
Families who use the community centers are urged to speak with their doctors about blood lead testing to ensure that their children have not contracted lead poisoning. To schedule a testing appointment with NYC Health + Hospitals, call 347-507-3684.
Further details about lead paint tests can be found at www.nyc.gov/leadfree.