Notice: Since this article was written, AnneLandmanBlog has found out from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s Hazardous Waste department expert in charge of dealing with closed firing ranges that Ascent contractor Vertex Companies of Denver utilized the wrong type of post-remediation testing technique for this facility, rendering the results in the report Ascent posted on August 11 invalid and essentially useless. Read more about it here.
The 8-page, post-lead remediation testing report that Ascent Classical Academy Grand Junction posted on its website August 11, 2023 (pdf) shows that 30 of the 66 sites tested for lead in the old Rocky Mountain Gun Club building at 545 31 Road, which is to serve as the new charter school, still have lead levels 5-23 times above HUD allowable limits.
And Ascent did not test the air inside the facility.
The post-remediation testing was performed by the Vertex Company, which included a disclaimer in the report that essentially says it wasn’t feasible to test all areas of the building, so there may still be areas where lead dust levels exceed HUD limits.
And that certainly appears to be the case.
So far, neither Ascent nor Vertex, nor the Mesa County Public Health Department or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have provided a guarantee that children who attend school in the former Rocky Mountain Gun Club building, or the adults who will be teaching there, will be 100% safe from contracting lead poisoning as a result of spending time in the building.
Kids are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults. They suffer worse effects, and the effects are irreversible.
“No safe blood lead level (BLL) in children has been identified and even low levels of lead in blood can cause developmental delays, difficulty learning, behavioral issues, and neurological damage. The effects of lead poisoning can be permanent and disabling.”
“Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and cause well-documented health effects, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.”
“No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”
“There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects,” and “Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health impacts, particularly on the development of the brain and nervous system.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says
“There is no safe level of lead exposure in children.”
Yet hundreds of children are set to start attending school September 5 in Ascent Classical Academy’s building at 545 31 Road.
Here is Vertex’s lead remediation report (taken from their website) showing areas that are still above the HUD-recommended lead remediation limits of <10mcg/sq.ft.: