Lead dust has been found at the former transport depot in Kingston, home of the Old Bus Depot Markets, testing carried out at the site has confirmed.
According to the ACT Government, the testing uncovered lead particulates in surface dust, with samples collected and tested as part of renovations being undertaken on the building.
Surfaces in and around the facility were tested earlier this month, with some test results returning a lead reading above the adopted threshold limit on surfaces.
“The contractor also set up air monitoring test points in late January,” said Arts Minister Tara Cheyne in a statement.
“All results returned during that testing period show that the concentration of atmosphere lead was below the detectable limits.
“It is likely that the lead dust has been present with minimal disturbance at the former transport depot for many years but may have been unsettled during recent construction activities.”
While work is still underway to determine the extent of the cleaning and remediation work required for the building, the ACT Government expects it to take at least three months, with access to the site to be restricted until the work can occur.
The Old Bus Depot Markets will not reopen until the cleaning and remediation work is complete. Stallholders have been informed of the situation today, Thursday 11 February.
The site has been closed since early last year, with renovations to the tune of $6.5 million being undertaken to improve the safety, accessibility and sustainability of the building.
The building also sustained significant damage during the hailstorm in January 2020 and the markets were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
The renovations were due to be completed in March this year.
The ACT Government has said it will work with contractors and stakeholders who were in the building during construction and may need to undergo testing.
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