Painters Claim Lead Paint In St. Louis Schools

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Members of the St. Louis Painters District Council #2 claim paint work at two St. Louis Public High Schools is not being done safely.

They recorded video that shows chips of paint on the floor in what appears to be a paint removal project.  The video was taken without the district`s permission from Sumner and Roosevelt High Schools.

Union members presented their concerns and still pictures from the video, during a St. Louis Public School board meeting on Thursday night.

"It`s in buckets, it`s in hallways, it was being pushed down in rolling dumpsters," claimed Page Lucks, Painters District Council #2.

The district sent a hazmat team to investigate on Thursday and said results could be known on Friday.  The executive director of operations says the work sites are investigated regularly and he is aware of no problems.

"We know that there is lead on the walls, has it been exposed is something that we will go in and see," explained Roger CayCe, St. Louis Public Schools.

The owner of the one the companies working on the projects says the paint chips do not include lead paint and so his workers did nothing wrong.

He says inspections from OSHA, the EPA and a St. Louis inspector have turned up nothing.

CayCe says in addition to regular inspections, the work sites will be checked once the work is done.

"We will go back and do lead swipes, check for anything to make sure all areas are safe," said CayCe.

Union members also claim they did background checks on the workers based on the license plate numbers in the parking lots of the project.  They claim 3 workers have criminal backgrounds.

CayCe says the district requests criminal history reports from contractors before allowing workers at the sites.   He asked Lucks not to trespass on school property but promised to give anyone access to the worksite if they go through proper channels.