Arlington County has been monitoring the D.C. playground media coverage and upon learning of the issue, immediately reached out to the D.C. government to better understand their concerns and process for testing their Poured-in-Place playground safety surfacing. As we understand, most elevated lead test results on D.C. school playgrounds appeared to be caused from nearby dust or soil deposited onto playground surfaces. To mitigate the deposits, those surfaces were thoroughly cleaned according to manufacturer guidelines. The remaining sites with elevated results seemed to have degradation of the sealed playground surface materials. In those cases, D.C. installed new surfaces to create an effective barrier that prevents any exposure to the underneath materials that may contain lead.
Arlington County is committed to the safety of our patrons and maintains playgrounds with Poured-in-Place safety surfacing to meet the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. We will continue to monitor independent studies related to playground safety surfacing and seek guidance from the national public health agencies on the selection of surfacing materials and potential health risks.
The County asks the community to let us know where you observe cracked or broken Poured-in-Place issues; we will send staff to investigate the issue, and conduct repairs on any surfaces that need it. Report issues you see in our parks online at arlingtonva.us, click Report a Problem, or call 703-228-4747.
Please note that the best way to keep you and your child healthy while playing in our parks is to:
- Stay hydrated, especially in the summer. Rest if you feel dizzy or too warm, and remember to take breaks in play.
- Clean any scrapes as quickly as possible. Cover any scrapes, burns or open wounds before playing.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds after playing. Showering after play is also recommended.
- Do not eat while on synthetic surfacing and do not play in bare feet.