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Angeles County | Community News File / Bell Gardens

Inspectors Begin Round of Lead Tests at School

October 29, 1998

Los Angeles County health inspectors began to collect samples of soil, water, dust and paint at a Bell Gardens elementary school Wednesday to determine if lead levels pose a danger to children there.

The county's childhood lead poisoning prevention program sent four inspectors to Suva Elementary School after state toxicologists discovered unusually high levels of lead in a school vacuum cleaner.

Parents worried about two chrome plating plants adjacent to Suva elementary and intermediate schools had asked the state Department of Toxic Substance Control to test for toxics.

State toxicologists found lead levels of up to 470 ppm in a vacuum cleaner at Suva elementary, more than three times the level at Suva intermediate school. State officials called the results inconclusive because there are no state or federal standards for lead levels in vacuum dust.

The county is expected to complete the latest round of lead tests next week, said Janet Comey, the environmental health services manager for the lead poisoning prevention program.

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