A Sydney Childcare Service, owned by the Department of Defence was immediately shut down and children sent home after the discovery of exposed lead paint around window frames in the building.
According to Parents, about 65 children, including newborns, from some 53 Defence families are currently enrolled at the centre, with some now facing the possibility of needing to be tested for lead poisoning.
“The centre has been repainted in the past few years, however underlying coats of paint were found to contain low levels of lead,” the spokesperson said.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) advises that lead paint is only hazardous when damaged, flaking or disturbed but says even small amounts of dust or chips of paint containing lead can be a health risk.
Lead exposure is particularly harmful to children and can affect their mental and physical development.
“Lead exposure in childhood can cause behaviour and attention problems, learning difficulties and cognitive losses. It may also affect physical growth, blood cell development and the functioning of the kidneys. It can affect almost every organ and system in the body.” the NSW Health website warns.
Affected families are being assisted in sourcing temporary childcare arrangements while appropriate remediation work is completed.