2024 reopening delayed for ANU ECEC service after lead paint is found
The University Preschool and Child Care Centre (UPCCC) at the Australian National University (ANU) has been unable to reopen for 2024 after lead paint particles were discovered in the carpets of one of its buildings.
Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal, however lead is highly toxic and can cause serious health problems. This is especially the case for young children, who are more vulnerable because they put their hands, and other objects, in their mouths, absorb more lead than adults, and have brains that are still developing and are more sensitive to lead.
The lead at UPCCC was found in the space which cares for infants and toddlers, as well as housing a sleep room, administrative spaces, and staff rooms, as part of maintenance work and the University’s testing.
The carpet was immediately removed, and environmental cleaning and additional air monitoring have taken place.
Both WorkSafe ACT and the Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) regulatory body have been notified about the discovery.
“The university is currently awaiting a testing report to confirm all contaminants have been appropriately removed, after which the carpets and underlay will be replaced,” an email from UPCCC stated.
“No other contaminants have been detected at this time (including in E block, which houses the preschool).”
ANU has offered to reimburse families and staff for any costs associated with receiving health advice following the discovery, and has stated its intention to ensure that staff “are not out of pocket” as a result of the delayed start to the year.
It is anticipated that the service will remain closed until next Monday, 22 January, to allow for the area to be cleaned and the carpet to be replaced.
This story was first covered by RiotACT. Read the original here.
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