Parents concerned after lead paint found in Swansboro Elementary School

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Parents are expressing concern after lead paint was found in an Onslow County elementary school.

Swansboro Elementary School had a scheduled inspection, but this one was different than others. During an inspection by the Onslow County Health Department, lead paint was found throughout the building.

According to the press release from Onslow County Schools, the Onslow County Health Department shared concerns about possible exposure underneath many layers of paint that got overlooked throughout the years.

“This is something that can lead to serious health issues,” said Wanda Davis, a concerned parent. “We already have an impact when it comes to ADHD and Down syndrome, so this is something we don’t need something toxic.”

The health department shared that there is no indication that children are affected by the paint, but family members and grandparents are frustrated.

“I am really upset that they didn’t look at it and correct it earlier,” said Tamra Althoff, a grandparent. “I just hope none of the children are really sick. I would be afraid and upset. I don’t know if the word angry is how I would describe it, but very upset about it that they didn’t look into this sooner.”

Onslow County Schools has a plan to get rid of the lead paint. According to the school system, the change will take place over the summer while the school is out of session.

“It would be great for our community to fix something that is such a traumatic event and for future children’s lives,” said Davis.

WITN reached out to the school district, county officials, and the county health department for an interview but no one was available to speak with us today.

In a statement, the Onslow County Health Department says it found no evidence of lead dust or water contamination throughout the elementary school.

There will be free testing available at the school on Friday, May 3rd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The health department will also have availability for appointments from May 6th to May 17th, and walk-ins are also welcome.