Mustang school officials remove lead-tainted turf

By Jesse Olivarez Published: May 28, 2008
MUSTANG — Mustang school officials have removed a piece of turf from inside a high school athletic practice facility because it contained lead.

The turf was inside the high school's batting practice facility, district spokes-woman Shannon Rigsby said. The turf was removed earlier this month after officials learned it could pose a hazard to students, she said.

"We're going to err on the side of safety when it comes to our kids,” said Mike Clark, the district's athletic director.

The turf had previously been used inside the Carrier Dome, the stadium used by Syracuse University, school officials said.

The Mustang High School Baseball boosters bought the turf two years ago and placed it inside the 7,000-square-foot batting facility.

Mustang school officials said they didn't know the turf posed any problems until they learned that schools in New Jersey had begun to check the turf for lead.

Clark said the turf in the batting facility was immediately tested and found to contain too much lead. The turf was removed hours after the test results came in, Rigsby said.

School officials said touching the turf posed a low risk to students. The risk arose if chips of paint used on the turf were inhaled or ingested.

As a precaution, school officials also tested the turf on Mustang High School's football field and found it to be safe, Clark said.

District officials notified parents on the district's Web site. No problems have been reported, Clark said.

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