Jul 22, 2019

New York Schools Find Lead in Drinking Water

Children & pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure

Children & pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure

In Brooklyn, N.Y., Bushwick public schools found high levels of lead in drinking water.

According to Bushwick Daily, the schools underwent testing and remediation in 2016 to eradicate lead found in sinks, faucets, and water fountains. Re-tests during the 2018 to 2019 school year have revealed elevated lead levels despite precautions taken years ago.

In a letter to New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Richard Carranza and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, the District 32 Community Education Council emphasized three schools needing assistance and pleaded it allocate funds toward lead eradication, according to Bushwick Daily. The three schools cited are P.S. 376, P.S. 106, and I.S. 383. 

Nine out of 99 samples showed elevated lead levels during drinking water testing in December 2016 at P.S. 376, according to Bushwick Daily. At the same time at P.S. 106, five of 62 samples showed elevated lead levels as well. In March 2019, 1860 ppb was the highest sample from a cold water faucet. 

“Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure. Therefore, for homes with children or pregnant women and with water lead levels exceeding EPA’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), CDC recommends using bottled water or water from a filtration system that has been certified by an independent testing organization to reduce or eliminate lead for cooking, drinking, and baby formula preparation,” the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. 

Lead poisoning is not just an issue in New York public schools however. According to the Department of Health, “820 children younger than six were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood between 2012 and 2016 in NYC’s affordable housing.”

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