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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Artificial turf at a playground at Kaiserslautern’s Kleber Kaserne and a Child Development Center in Grafenwöhr tested above recommended levels for lead and have been declared off-limits, Installation Management Command-Europe announced Tuesday.

New material will be installed at the Grafenwöhr playground, a new facility that is yet to be used. The turf at the Kleber playground, only a section of which is off-limits, also is being replaced, IMCOM-Europe reported.

The only other installation to test above the recommended levels for lead is the child development center playground at Baumholder’s Smith Barracks, a situation which IMCOM-Europe announced last month.

"Wipe samples of portions of the artificial turf at Baumholder and bulk samples from K-Town and Grafenwöhr playgrounds yielded low lead readings that exceeded the recommended Environmental Protection Agency guidelines," IMCOM-Europe reported.

Testing still needs to be conducted at a facility in Ansbach, where results are expected by next week.

IMCOM’S testing of artificial turf was prompted by a recent national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health advisory on the relationship between artificial turf and lead. That advisory also noted there are no reported cases of elevated blood lead levels in children linked to artificial turf.

At the Kleber playground, one "small section of artificial turf" contained lead at 5,700 parts per million. The standard is 400 ppm.

In Grafenwöhr, turf was found to contain lead as high as 6,500 ppm.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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