✅ Lead was found in the soil around two Trenton schools

✅ Free testing is being offered to students at one of the schools with higher levels

✅ If a child tests positive remediation is also available

TRENTON — Following the discovery of lead in the ground around two schools, the city wants to test students for possible exposure.

The lead contamination at Grant Intermediate School and McKnight Elementary School was found by the EPA late last year. The soil at Grant contained lead “above the normal levels in uncovered areas which included grass and dirt.” McKnight’s levels were within the normal range.

A pottery factory that used lead once occupied the land where the schools are now. Because Trenton has a long industrial history, there's potential for lead to be anywhere, officials say.

About 600 students at the Grant school were potentially exposed to lead, according to Mayor Reed Gusciora.  The city is offering free lead testing but only 118 students have signed up. A door-to-door campaign is underway to encourage the testing.

"We want to test the students at Grant School. And if they do test positive, we want to go to their homes to see if they have lead-based paint or lead pipes and remediate at no charge to the homeowner," Gusciora said.

ALSO READ: State Police ask for help to locate NJ woman missing since April

Trenton (Google Maps)
Trenton (Google Maps)

A perfect storm for funding

There are some problems preventing some parents from signing up, according to the mayor.

"There's language barrier issues, there's parents that are working. There's just questions that many parents have. We want to make sure that they're at ease that this is free testing and also free remediation," Gusciora said.

The Democrat said that a "perfect storm" is making it possible to use both federal and state grant funding to pay for the program. But the funds can't be utilized unless the source of the lead can be determined.

"This is one opportunity that we could remediate all of these problems. And it will not cost the parents any money," Gusciora said.

The test is a relatively simple process that involves a pinprick of the child's finger. If elevated levels are found they would be eligible for further testing.

The mayor said that any level of lead in a child can affect their ability to learn and affect behavior. According to the Mayo Clinic, even a small amount of lead can cause problems.

"What we want to do is once and for all get the lead out of Trenton so that generations from now will be able to grow up in the city without having to worry about lead contamination from their homes or from the soil," Gusciora said.

Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

UPDATED: Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey 2024 (alphabetical)

New Jersey remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day with parades, solemn services, reenactments and fairs. Most events take place Monday, May 27 unless otherwise noted and are subject to change without notice here.

Add your community's parade to our list with an email to dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

New additions to NJ DOT's 2024 collection of humorous safety messages

The NJ DOT continued to use a series of humorous seasonal safety messages on its' over 200 electronic signs around New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

It's official: These are New Jersey's top baby names of 2023

The Social Security Administration has released the most recent list of top baby names in the United States in 2023 (updated May 2024). Here's a look at those specific to New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM