I spent my morning amid swing sets and monkey bars.
An anonymous caller said he suspected playground equipment at an elementary school was coated in lead-based paint, so I bought a do-it-yourself test kit from Home Depot to find out if that was true.
I tested two different pieces of playground equipment at that school, Buchanan Elementary at NW 18 and Utah in Oklahoma City, with LeadCheck.
Per the instructions, I shook the cigarette-shaped swab and then crushed the two small glass vials inside to release the chemicals that detect lead. I squeezed out some of the freshly activated chemicals and rubbed the tip against the paint for 30 seconds.
If the tip turned pink or red it would indicate lead; a yellow tip would indicate none.
And in 30 seconds I had an answer: no lead.
On my way back to the office I stopped at Johnson Elementary in The Village to get in another test, and again swabbed two separate pieces of playground equipment. Both tests were negative.
Some story ideas that come into The Oklahoman don’t always pan out — but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out.
Wendy K. Kleinman