Lead dust detected in various parts of Brodie Recreation Center, facility closed indefinitely

Duke announced in a Thursday afternoon release that lead dust was detected in the pool maintenance area of Brodie Aquatics Center and on the floor in other parts of Brodie Recreation Center, causing the gym’s indefinite closure. 

Brodie Recreation Center has been closed since Monday, following a Monday night email to Duke Rec & P.E. members. The email had not explained the cause for the closure, instead saying it was “due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding current renovations.”

“During renovation work for the pool at Brodie Recreation Center, paint disturbed on a ceiling support structure was subsequently determined to contain lead. Our initial testing detected lead dust in the pool maintenance area, which was already closed to gym users,” the Thursday release read. 

“On April 1, after additional testing of the facility detected lead in dust on the floor in other parts of the building, our facilities and employee health and wellness teams decided to close the entire facility out of an abundance of caution while lead decontamination takes place,” the release read.

The University notified 2,800 people who had entered the facility since the paint was disturbed.

“As a precaution, anyone who has used the facility since March 22 and is pregnant or breastfeeding, or brought young children to the facility, or who has significant kidney disease, is encouraged to consult a medical professional,” the release read.

According to the statement, based on testing and ongoing analysis of medical professionals, the University does not expect any harmful health effects for people who used the facility following the paint disturbance.

“Lead-based paint does not present a potential risk until it begins to deteriorate or is disturbed, and only then if any dust generated is subsequently ingested or inhaled,” the release read. ”Short-term exposures to lead among adults are not considered a significant risk to health.”

The release provided resources for students and employees who have additional questions or concerns. Students may call Student Health at 919-681-9355, and employees may call Employee Occupational Health and Wellness at 919-684-3136, and selecting option 2, or 919-385-0429, and selecting option 1. 

Renovations to Brodie Aquatics Center began on March 4. The planned renovation and closure were announced in the Duke Rec & P.E. newsletter on Feb. 1.

Brodie Recreation Center will reopen after the facility is independently cleared for use.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Michael Austin | Managing Editor

Michael Austin is a Trinity sophomore and managing editor of The Chronicle's 120th volume.


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