Aug 23, 2018

Elevated Lead Levels Detected at Maryland Schools

The drinking water outlets with levels above 20 ppb have been taken off line

Elevated lead levels found in Maryland schools drinking water
Elevated lead levels found in Maryland schools drinking water

State-mandated lead testing in Maryland detected elevated lead levels in schools in the counties of Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Hartford. The testing was completed under a bill passed last year and signed by Gov. Larry Hogan that requires public and private schools to test for lead in drinking water outlets. The results showing elevated lead levels in three county school districts are from the first phase of testing completed by July 1.

In Montgomery County, 238 out of 13,248 fixtures tested found lead levels above 20 ppb, the U.S. EPA’s guideline. According to the Washington Post, the drinking water fixtures testing above 20 ppb were taken off line.

“Any of the samples coming back above the acceptable level of 20 ppb is concerning and alarming and necessitates further evaluation,” said Travis Gayles, chief of public health services for Montgomery County. “It’s trick to really assess the effect of intermittent exposure to a particular source.”

Anne Arundel County Public Schools have received results for 23 out of 33 schools tested and found 30 sources of drinking water with lead levels above 20 ppb. Local officials are considering adopting stricter lead standards in schools, as a result. Montgomery County Council Member Marc Elrich has said he is drafting legislation to change the school action level to 5 ppb. Gov. Larry Hogan has said he supports adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for 5 micrograms.