By Kimberly Davis


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a strikeout for ballplayers at a local park after elevated levels of lead found in the soil are keeping them off of the field. The soil is from Chew Park, located in the 1800 block of Washington Avenue in Point Breeze.

Eyewitness News spoke with parents in the neighborhood who are hoping the lead problem can be resolved quickly.

“That’s pretty bad knowing that lead is in the field,” said Timothy Billups, who is a father of two.

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The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation closed the athletic field at Chew playground after elevated levels of lead were found in the soil.

The neighboring playground and basketball court did not test positive for lead and remain open.

Billups said that even though the tests showed that the playground and basketball courts are safe, the area in question is a little too close for comfort.

“It’s real bad, it should be shut down,” Billups said.

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Despite the field being closed for the high levels, city workers continued to trim the grounds.

“Adults are much less susceptible to lead than children 6 and under, performing routine ground maintenance does not expose adults to the lead,” the health department said when asked if the trimming was safe.

Other parents who are aware of the lead issue still feel comfortable coming to the park.

“It was a little like dang, that sucks because a lot of people use the field for like camps out there, but neither of [my kids] are in anything right now,” said Erika Starrcelly.

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Most parents say the sooner the issue is resolved, the better because the field is a great space.

The health department will be holding a community meeting to answer any concerns the community may have on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Chew Park.

Kimberly Davis