Park environmental report update. More than 30 surface and subsurface soil samples were collected by the state department of environmental quality in a phase II assessment at Plattmouth's Rylander park. Lead was detected by preliminary analysis in three surface soil samples at concentrations exceeding screening levels used to determine whether a site needs further investigation.
The Cassgram reports a news release from the city says children 0-6 years of age and fetuses are the most susceptible to the negative effects of lead due to their developing nervous system. In addition, young children are more likely to play in dirt and to place their hands and other objects in their mouths, incidentally ingesting soil. Lead is also more readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in children, and nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or calcium, may increase this absorption.
More testing is planned. Meanwhile, Plattsmouth is working with officials of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to communicate with the public so that park users can take precautions. DHHS recommends:
1. All park users should be made aware of the presence of elevated metals found in the soils, in particular, lead. Notices are being made to parents and coaches who use the park for softball, baseball and soccer.
2. Soccer, baseball, softball, bocce ball, and other athletes should wash their hands prior to eating snacks or other food items following games and practices.
3. Parents, athletes, and other park users are advised to remove any shoes, spikes, etc., that come into contact with bare soil, prior to entering their home. These shoes should remain outdoors or in a garage to avoid tracking soil into their home.
4. Parents, athletes, and other park users should launder all soiled clothing separately from other laundry.
5. Children 0-6 years of age and pregnant women should avoid contact with bare soil areas in the park.
6. Parents and park users who are concerned about exposure to park soil should contact their physician for additional information.