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Paint Chips From Broadcast Tower Have Lead

Candelabra on Baltimore’s TV Hill is in the spotlight

A view of the top of the candelabra tower on Baltimore's TV Hill
Nfrastructure, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A broadcast tower site in Baltimore is getting some unwelcome publicity because of reported paint chips falling from the sky — chips that contain lead.

According to the website Baltimore Brew, state inspectors, prompted by neighborhood complaints, visited Baltimore’s TV Hill, collected paint chips and confirmed that the chips contain lead, citing a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment. It said samples were taken from the area surrounding the candelabra tower that is a familiar sight on the Baltimore skyline, which it reported has been undergoing power washing ahead of repainting.

Baltimore Brew reported that the contractor has been ordered by the city to stop and to sample the chips. It said the contractor and TV consortium that owns the tower hadn’t returned requests for comment. The structure also has antennas for several of Baltimore’s FM stations and translators.

The story quotes neighbors saying the affected area extends well beyond TV Hill. It also reported that the city Department of Housing and Community Development did not find a permit application on file for the work.

Read the story. The state inspection came after an earlier article called attention to the situation.