Bellevue park gets makeover after arsenic found in wood - WSMV News 4

Bellevue park gets makeover after arsenic found in wood

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Red Caboose Park in Bellevue has been closed for repairs. (WSMV) Red Caboose Park in Bellevue has been closed for repairs. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It was a beautiful Friday afternoon perfect for walking, swinging, and playing with the kids, but several people showed up to Bellevue's Red Caboose Park only to find they were locked out.

The park is getting a total makeover, and one reason why is because there is arsenic in the wood. 

"That's definitely worrisome to me, as a parent, because she'll put everything and anything in her mouth," said mother Susannah Larry. 

In 2014 the city learned the old playground equipment was treated with a chemical that leaches arsenic. So they tested it.

When it comes to arsenic they found 3.5 milligrams per kilogram in the mulch, 10 in the nearby soil, and in the wood, 1,400. 

That's more than the Environmental Protection Agency allows, but the city said it's not enough to be dangerous. 

"They need to update it and clean it out and make it friendly for the children that come here and play and for the people that walk and exercise," said Nashville resident Lori Jones. 

People can be exposed to arsenic by eating food or just breathing air.

According to TDEC, the Nashville region has higher levels. 

City officials said the levels at Red Caboose Park aren't a threat.

Still, park goers we spoke to were glad to hear soon, it will be gone for good.

"I'm definitely excited to see what they'll be able to do, making it safer for all of the kids," said Larry.  

"I'm just glad they're taking care of it," said Jones. 

The park will remain closed until the project is complete. 

Councilman Sheri Weiner said the goal is to have it reopen later this summer.

The Metro Parks Department said it doesn't maintain any other wooden playgrounds.

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