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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — The Camp Henry field and two others showing elevated lead levels were determined to be safe following a second round of testing, military officials said Friday.

Five children who played at the Camp Henry field regularly were found to have blood lead levels within safe limits, according to medical lab results.

However, the field will remain closed while the Army Corps of Engineers Far East District discusses the results with the field’s contractor.

Although officials say the field surface is now safe to play on, they question whether the materials might release more lead during the next decade.

"Concerns remain about the impact of long-term wear and tear on the field," said Installation Management Command-Korea spokesman Ed Johnson.

Officials first closed the year-old field in June after it registered an average 771 milligrams of lead per kilogram from its turf samples. Anything above 400 milligrams per kilogram is considered significant.

The children tested were brought to an Army medical clinic voluntarily and ranged from ages 2 to 7.

Some children reported playing on the field as many as 50 times in the four months before the field was closed, said Maj. Remington Nevin, a doctor and acting chief of preventive medicine for U.S. Army Medical Activity Korea.

Each child registered one to three micrograms of lead per deciliter in their blood, according to testing analyzed by Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

One to three micrograms is what pediatricians might find during an average child screening, Nevin said.

Doctors typically look for 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter before intervening, Nevin said.

Parents can reduce lead exposure to children by removing shoes in the home, vacuuming with a HEPA filter, cleaning off dust, washing hands and encouraging proper hygiene, Nevin said.

Of 13 artificial turf fields in South Korea, Collier Field House at Yongsan Garrison, another field next to Carey Gym at Camp Casey, and the field on Henry showed mildly elevated levels of lead in their materials during the initial study.

Follow-up tests showed no potential health hazard at the Camp Casey and Yongsan Garrison fields, officials said.

The follow-up tests included turf samples that confirmed the Camp Henry field’s high lead count, which is thought to originate from the turf’s pigment.

However, "swipe tests" using a cloth-like material also were performed during the follow-up tests, which Nevin says confirmed the fields’ safety.

"Swipe testing mimics potential turf dust-to-hand transfer we think would be the primary mode of exposure for children," Nevin said.

The Camp Henry field’s swipe tests registered 28 micrograms per square foot at its highest level. The Department of Housing and Urban Development sets its standard for corrective action at 40 micrograms of lead per square foot.

While there is no uniform standard for permissible lead levels, officials pooled standards from multiple government agencies to analyze the swipe test results.

In a July 30 news release, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found no safety threat to children at lead levels far higher than those found at Camp Henry; however, they did ask the artificial turf industry to develop standards to preclude the use of lead.

There are two more artificial turf fields in the construction pipeline in South Korea: one at Camp Casey’s Schoonover Bowl and the other at K-16, said Bill Byrant, acting Morale, Recreation and Welfare chief for South Korea.

Contractors for each field must submit technical data to the Corps of Engineers Far East District, which oversees the construction.

"Based on recent testing of the ... synthetic turf fields by 18th Medical Command, which showed that some turf had lower levels of heavy metals, we will specify these turfs in the future," said Far East District spokesman Joe Campbell.

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