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Release Date: 3/8/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

 (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) in coordination with several other agencies and local
elected officials will host a community meeting and open house to
discuss recent lead sampling activities in the neighborhood near
Verdese Carter Park, Oakland, Calif.  

     The community meeting, followed by an open house, will be
held Saturday, March 11, 1995, at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at E. Morris
Cox Elementary School, 9800 Sunnyside St., Oakland, Calif.
Representatives from U.S. EPA, the Agency for Toxic Substances
and Disease Registry, the Alameda County Department of
Environmental Health, the Alameda County Lead Prevention Program,
the city of Oakland and the California Department of Health
Services Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch will inform
residents about the sampling results, provide recommendations for
reducing lead exposure and answer specific questions.  A
representative from Congressman Ronald Dellums' office and the
city of Oakland Councilwoman Dezie Woods-Jones also will be
available to answer questions.  

     Sampling for lead was conducted in the yards of 38 homes
located adjacent to the park in December 1994.  The three-acre
park is in a residential area of Oakland and is bordered on the
north by 96th Avenue, the east by Bancroft Avenue, the south by
98th Avenue and on the west by Sunnyside Street.

      U.S. EPA and the Alameda County Lead Prevention Program do
not believe lead levels found in yards pose an immediate danger
to people living or working near the park, or children attending
nearby schools as long as soils are not ingested.  However, the
Alameda County Lead Prevention Program recommends that children
between the ages of six months to 62 months be tested for
elevated blood lead due to the potential for exposure to multiple
sources of lead.

     It is not clear if the source of the lead in the community
is the park, site of a former battery factory, or some other
source.  From approximately 1912 until the mid-1970s, a battery
factory operated on the southern half of the park property.  A
commercial greenhouse reportedly operated on the northern end of
the park property from as early as 1912 to the early 1970s.

      The city of Oakland acquired the former battery factory and
greenhouse properties in 1975.  Between 1976 and 1978,
approximately 5700 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soils were
removed for construction of the park.  In 1993, the city of
Oakland removed approximately 17,000 cubic yards of soil from the
park after new testing showed elevated levels of lead and arsenic
were present in soils.

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