CARLSBAD — The July 7 battery of tests of two piles of soil removed from Kelly Elementary School, 4885 Kelly Drive, confirm the results of an earlier soil testing performed on June 25: the soil has once again been determined to be safe with substances not detected at all or well below established thresholds.
District Superintendent John A. Roach will present a report on the testing and an update on health issues to the Board of Trustees at its scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. July 28 at the Carlsbad Council Chambers, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive.
The soil tested by Solana Beach-based PIC Environmental Services in June was removed from the playground to prepare the area for installation of new playground equipment. The most recent tests involved soil removed to prepare for Kelly’s kitchen expansion and walkway improvement. This July testing was performed by San Diego-based Leighton Consulting Inc., an environmental consulting group, working with Associated Laboratories.
The tests were contracted and paid for by Carlsbad Unified School District in response to concerns raised by some people in the community regarding possible toxicity of the soil, and a possible link between the Kelly environment and various forms of cancer.
“We greatly sympathize with people whose loved ones are battling or have lost the fight against various forms of cancer,” Roach said. “These include parents of Carlsbad Unified students who attended Kelly in years past and others in the community. Receiving a clean bill of health from multiple soil testings confirms our belief that our school environments are safe and meet acceptable health standards.”
Both Leighton and PIC utilized industry-approved methods and standards to examine the dirt meticulously. Leighton detected virtually no trace of organochlorine pesticides and found safe levels of 17 different elements, including lead, arsenic and mercury . The Leighton report concludes, “Pesticides were non-detect and the detected heavy metals are within the normal range in soils and below the residential health risk levels.”
Based on information gleaned from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and California State Cancer Registry, no causal link between the CUSD school environments and any incidence of cancer has been shown to exist. State health officials investigated Carlsbad’s cancer rate in 2007 and 2008, concluding each time that no unusual pattern — or cluster — of cases existed. After conducting a third test of Carlsbad neighborhoods this spring, the state reached the same conclusion. Findings were presented at an HHSA-hosted community forum held in Carlsbad on June 28.
Information and updates on the HHSA process are at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/phs/cancer_concerns_in_carlsbad/. Information also is available at www.carlsbadusd.k12.ca.us; click on the “Health Matters” icon.