Massachusetts Playground Closed Due to Arsenic Contamination

Ayer’s Kiddie Junction Playground is now closed to the public

stock playground close-up

A popular playground in Ayer, Massachusetts, has been closed to the public due to arsenic contamination.

The town of Ayer notified the state environmental protection department this week that the Kiddie Junction Playground at Pirone Park is contaminated. The town is working to remediate the site and replace the playground structure.

The playground was constructed in 1989 using standard techniques and materials for that time.

Arsenic was first discovered in the playground’s wood structure and surrounding soil in 2007. The playground remained open but signs were installed to warn the public.

After the notification this week, the environmental protection department told the state to close the playground and the town agreed. A perimeter fence was installed.

Town officials say they were told that the likelihood of health implications due arsenic exposure is believed to be very low, but that concerned residents should contact their doctor.

The town’s parks commission is working on a plan to replace the playground with an estimated timeline for construction to proceed in July 2022. The parks director estimates that remediating the site and replacing the playground could cost $500,000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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