The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department is closing an athletic field at a local park after soil samples showed elevated levels of lead.
City officials said the adjoining playground will remain open, as lead was not detected there.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, officials declined to say just how much lead was detected at the site, and the field will remain closed pending further testing. If necessary, the city will undertake a lead abatement program and the field will eventually be reopened.
Formally known as the Charles H. Chew Sr. Playground, the site spans 2.8 acres and contains playground equipment, a pool, a basketball court, sports fields, and a community garden. A multipurpose building hosts additional activities.
In a notice to park users, officials said they were closing the field “out of an abundance of caution.” They noted that Philadelphia has an industrial past that has left lead behind in some areas.
The Inquirer reports that the city Department of Public Health identifies the primary source of lead exposure to children in Philadelphia as “lead-based paint and the dust produced from lead-based paint inside homes built before 1978.”