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Lead in Playground Equipment in Thailand
On 30 September 2019, EARTH visited Benjakitti Park and Lumphini Park located in Bangkok City, Thailand, and screened the playground equipment for lead content. In each playground, painted play equipment (e.g., climbing bars and frames, posts, railings, ramps, rockers, see-saws, slides, swings, etc.) were examined and physical details, e.g., color of painted surface, substrate type (metallic, wooden, plastic, fiberglass, etc.), and the condition of painted surface (new, old, visible chipping off or flaking) were documented.
In situ lead content analysis was performed on painted surfaces using a portable Olympus Innov-X Delta X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer. For a complete description of the materials and methods, please see Appendix A.
This study shows that:
- 20 out of 24 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), dry weight. In addition, 14 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.
- 15 out of 16 bright-colored painted surfaces contained lead concentrations above 90 ppm, dry weight.
- The highest lead concentration detected was 72,300 ppm in a red monkey bar at a public playground in Benjakitti Park, Bangkok City, Thailand.