Dutchess County playground reopened despite lead concerns 

The park was temporarily shut down after it was identified as one of multiple locations nationwide in a Wall Street Journal report as possibly contaminated and toxic because of old telecommunication cables overhead that are wrapped in lead.   

Blaise Gomez

Aug 9, 2023, 8:17 PM

Updated 292 days ago

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News 12 is taking a closer look at a park in Dutchess County that recently reopened despite reports that found it may contain levels of lead that could be toxic for kids and their families.   
Neighbors saw crews doing lead tests for several days in June at Temple Park on Market Street in Wappingers Falls.   
“Kids and families did not even know this was going on,” said Allen Paiva.  
The park was later temporarily shut down after it was identified as one of multiple locations nationwide in a Wall Street Journal report as possibly contaminated and toxic because of old telecommunication cables overhead that are wrapped in lead.   
In July, the state announced it found high levels of lead near the park, on the road, but reopened the playground and said the area is safe. 
“Been that way for years out here and nobody cared about it, so it’s no big deal,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.  
He said he raised his kids in the neighborhood decades ago without any health problems or concerns.  
The Journal’s report, however, identified the area as part of a “sprawling network” of abandoned lead cables at more than 2,000 U.S. locations that are overhead, underground and underwater.   
Rep. Pat Ryan wants a congressional hearing to address what he's now calling a “lead cable crisis.”    
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are no safe levels of lead in kids and that trace amounts can lead to severe developmental risks.  
News 12 called the Wappingers Falls mayor for more information about the safety of the village-owned park but has not heard back.  
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