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Parks Commissioner Says Report on Hazards "Alarmist"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The city's parks commissioner say parents should pay no heed to a new report that cites potential hazards in playgrounds. The New York Public Interest Research Group cites things like peeling paint and a lack of protective services in more than 40 percent of the 29 playgrounds it surveyed. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe calls the report "alarmist."

The playgrounds of NYC are really the safest built and the best maintained playgrounds probably in the world and I've seen many park systems.

Benepe says the city does 5000 playground inspections a year and all of them are certified by independent, national associations.

Twenty-nine playgrounds in the five boroughs are being scrutinized for safety. When it comes to toxins, more than 40 percent of the playgrounds surveyed may pose a risk, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group's latest report.

Forty-one percent of the playgrounds surveyed had peeling or chipped paint, which may contain lead.

Other hazards include a lack of protective surfaces, and fall zones for slides and swings where one-fourth of playground injuries occur. Litter from bottles and cans was also a major concern.

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