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Elevated Lead Levels in Soil Discovered at Two Oakland Schools

LA Testing provides comprehensive analytical services, sampling supplies and test kits to identify lead hazards from air, dust, soil, water, paint chip and bulk materials.

South Pasadena, CA – WEBWIRE

In late October, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) announced the discovery of elevated lead levels in the soil at two of their schools. The discovery was made after an environmental firm was hired to conduct limited soil sampling in preparation for landscape improvement projects at the schools.

The OUSD reported it is working with local officials to address any exposure risks. According to a district press release about the soil conditions, “Health and lead experts from Alameda County say environmental lead is ubiquitous across the Bay Area, much of the product of lead-based paint and pollution that includes leaded gasoline before it was banned.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children can be exposed to lead in soil by touching, breathing or playing in lead-contaminated soil. Lead-contaminated soil particles can also be brought inside as lead dust or on shoes and clothing. The agency also reports that no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, the ability to pay attention and academic achievement.

“Lead poisoning is 100% preventable,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Fortunately, in the two cases in Oakland, the soil samples came from areas that were under blacktop. The blacktop acts as a barrier to contain the contaminated soil. If testing had not been conducted, these areas could have been disturbed during the landscape projects, releasing lead into areas where children and faculty may have come in contact with the toxic heavy metal.”

The laboratory experts at LA Testing provide environmental testing services that include testing for lead in soil. With multiple facilities across the state, they offer access to environmental lead testing services, sampling supplies and even easy-to-use test kits.

To learn more about this or other environmental, soil or air quality testing services, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794. For access to test kits, visit

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.

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