Surrounded by TV crews and other media, Council Member Marion Barry and a few concerned activists, stood outside Anacostia High School this morning and called for EPA testing of school athletic fields. The group said it's concerned that the toxic silica sand has been used in the renovations of six school fields and may be used in future repairs.
"We don't want our young men to be in the hot sun and fall on this kind of turf," the Ward 8 council member said.
The six fields named in a release yesterday are at Dunbar, McKinley, Roosevelt, Coolidge, Ballou and Wilson high schools. The release noted that the city is slated to update four more school fields at Anacostia, Spingarn, Cardozo and Eastern high schools.
In an interview today, Marvin Tucker, the assistant football coach at Anacostia, said he had learned of the danger to the fields from others in the turf industry.
Barry said he planned to question school officials about the issue from the council dais today during a hearing on school construction and modernization.