No danger to children at parks

Mesnes Park
Mesnes Park
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LOCAL children can be assured that they are in no danger at all from lead paint poisoning at the borough’s parks.

That’s beacuse there is no equipment left in any of the area’s public play areas which still uses the potentially toxic substance.

The Wigan Evening Post had made an inquiry with Wigan Council yesterday after fears were raised nationally that children are still in danger from this antequated form of equipment preservation.

And the town hall was able to reply that all playgrounds are now equipped with facilities that are not coated in lead paint.

But that doesn’t mean local children are necessarily safe if they go to other parts of the country.

A studey suggests playground equipment should be monitored more regularly to ensure toxic metals contained within paints do not present a danger to public and child health.

Environmental scientists from Plymouth University analysed the metallic content of paints on equipment in almost 50 playgrounds, including some less than a decade old, across the south of England.

They discovered lead content up to 40 times greater than recommended concentrations, along with higher-than-expected levels of chromium, antimony and cadmium.

Their research suggests the levels could pose a significant potential risk to young children and provides a series of recommendations which scientists believe playground operators should consider with immediate effect.

They say surfaces should be monitored regularly for condition and, in particular, for flaking and cracking paint; paint in poor condition should be carefully removed and structures stabilised and repainted with lead-free paint, or equipment replaced; parents should be made aware of the dangers of children sucking or biting painted surfaces or ingesting paint chips; and stricter controls should be applied to domestic and imported paints used for playgrounds, and for equipment that is pre-painted before installation.