OXNARD : Lead Testing OKd in Public Housing

Oxnard housing officials will conduct random testing for lead in the city's 630 public housing units under a program approved by the City Council.

Baseboards, walls and other surfaces coated with paint will be tested for lead content in about 165 of the housing units, Oxnard Housing Director Sal Gonzalez said. Council members unanimously voted this week to seek contractors to do the work that is scheduled to start next month.

"These tests are to see if there is lead in the buildings and notify residents if there is," Gonzalez told council members. "We will then determine the best way to deal with lead."

Gonzalez said some lead problems can be painted over while other trouble spots need to be removed.

Similar tests conducted in 1988 detected high levels of lead in several housing units in the city's Colonia Village housing projects in the Colonia neighborhood and at a public housing project at Pleasant Valley Road and Squires Drive, Gonzalez said.

In those cases, the paint was either covered with nontoxic paint or was removed.

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