Thursday, August 29, 2019

"FLINT WATER" IN CA: Lead Found in Drinking Fountains at 17% of California Public Schools | Capital & Main

Lead Found in Drinking Fountains at 17% of California Public Schools | Capital & Main

Lead Found in Drinking Fountains at 17% of California Public Schools
The state only requires schools to take action if lead levels exceed 15 ppb. But the CDC says there’s no safe blood lead level for children.

Two years ago Assembly Bill 746 required all California K-12 public schools built before 2010 to test for lead in drinking fountains and faucets by July 1, 2019. So far, 1,256 of 7,188 schools tested by the California State Water Resources Control Board (17 percent) have reported levels of lead that exceed five parts per billion (ppb). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that lead in school drinking fountains not exceed 1 ppb, whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no blood lead level for children that can be considered safe.
The state, however, only requires schools to take action – including notifying parents, shutting down dangerous fountains and conducting more testing – if lead levels exceed 15 ppb. Schools that do detect levels of lead above 15 ppb must take follow-up samples from the place at which the school’s plumbing connects to the community water supply to identify whether tainted water is reaching the school from the outside. As of mid June, 268 California schools reported lead levels above 15 ppb, according to the Water Resources Control Board.
AB 746 builds upon 2017 permit amendments, issued by the state’s Division of Drinking Water, that give all California schools (public, private and charter) the right to request testing from their local water systems of up to five samples, and to receive repeat tests to confirm the effectiveness of any steps taken to lower lead levels.
The presence of lead at so many schools is particularly alarming because lead is especially toxic to children, even at low levels. “Lower levels of lead have the potential to cause significant effects on children’s brain development, on their attention levels, on behavior and on their ability to learn,” said Susan Little of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy CONTINUE READING: Lead Found in Drinking Fountains at 17% of California Public Schools | Capital & Main

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