Officials: Several Philadelphia athletic fields temporarily closed due to lead contamination

Several Philadelphia athletic fields are temporarily closed due to lead contamination, according to officials.

Philadelphia's Parks and Recreation Department tells FOX 29 elevated levels of lead were recently found in the soil at Hieztman and Samuels recreation centers, along with the Monkiewitz Playground, located in the Port Richmond area of the city. 

Ken Harlan lives across the street from Hiezman. It's believed lead smelting factories that once stood in the neighborhood are root of the contamination. Now, he’s worried where his son may have been playing.

"Me and my son rolled around in this dirt just a couple days before they shut it down. We were having a water gun fight rolling around in the dirt. I didn’t think anything of it," he told FOX 29.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Back in June, Chew Playground in Point Breeze was closed for the same reason.                                                               

Long term exposure in soil can be dangerous, especially for children, but health officials say most lead poisoning cases come from exposure to lead paint particles. Health officials say simple hand washing and taking off your shoes before coming in the house could reduce the risk.

No word on how long the fileds will be closed.