Elevated lead levels reported at five Omaha elementary schools

New testing has revealed elevated lead levels in the soil around five different elementary schools in Omaha.
Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Public Schools said Thursday that recent testing shows elevated lead levels at five Omaha elementary schools located within the city’s lead superfund site.

The schools are all within seven miles of one another:

  • Beals Elementary School, located near 48th and Center streets
  • Conestoga Elementary School, located near 21st and Burdette streets
  • Kennedy Elementary School, located near 30th and Binney streets
  • Skinner Elementary School, located near 33rd Street and Paxton Boulevard
  • Walnut Hill Elementary School, located near 45th and Hamilton streets

The sites have all been tested before, but the technology in the tests has improved, so the district and the city re-tested the schools with a sense of urgency.

”Lead poisoning cna lead to many detrimental health effects in young children. Some of these include slow growth; speech, language, and hearing problems; nervous system and kidney damage; behavior problems; and low IQ and poor educational outcomes,” said Justin Frederick with the Douglas County Health Department.

OPS said Thursday that fencing had been put in place to block areas where lead was found in the soil. They stressed that no children at the schools have tested for high levels of lead.