Schools Find Lead in Students' Drinking Water
New Jersey, Texas, and Wisconsin schools are testing positive for lead in the drinking water, and they aren’t alone. According to The New York Times, Anning S. Prall School on Staten Island underwent a new process of testing for their water supply to check the water sitting in the pipes, rather than running the water for 2 hours prior to testing, as was the previous practice. The results showed 53 of the school’s water outlets well above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended threshold for lead.
Lead poisoning is not to be taken lightly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that even small amounts of lead are dangerous for children, increasing their risks for brain and nerve damage, slowed development, learning problems, anemia, and hearing and speech problems. There is no accepted “safe” blood lead level, as determined by the CDC, so any trace is considered dangerous.
The lead traces found in school drinking water is not from the water source itself, but comes from the pipes that store and transport the water, according to the Washington State Department of Health. If the water is corrosive, it could cause lead particles to seep into the water supply. A host of new rules were put in place in the 1980’s to stop the use of lead-based products, including pipes, paints and other home products. However, some older schools may still have pipes that contain lead.
While lead testing is not yet mandatory, many parents are requesting that their children’s school drinking fountains be tested. A number of school districts have already made it a habit to regularly run tests, according to the Washington Post. Multiple schools in Boston are giving bottled water to students rather than allowing them to use the drinking fountains after nearly 2 dozen Massachusetts schools tested for high amounts of lead.
As the lead issue makes headway in some schools, it remains unaddressed or poorly dealt with in others. If your child has experienced lead poisoning because of his or her school water supply, call your attorney for legal assistance.
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