Jan 10, 2019

Harvard Report Finds Lead Testing in Schools Lacking

The new report found that many schools do not test for lead in drinking water

New study finds schools lead testing in drinking water inadequate
New study finds schools lead testing in drinking water inadequate

A new report from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that more than 40% of schools that test for lead found at least one sample with lead in drinking water at higher than recommended levels. The study also found that half of all U.S. students attend schools in states that do not even have programs for testing lead in drinking water.

The research team assessed data from the 24 states that do have programs for lead testing in schools, but only 12 states provided usable results. The results revealed that 44% of the schools had at least one water sample with lead above the standards set by local rules, and 12% of all the samples had higher than recommended lead levels in drinking water, as reported  by NBC News.

“Most schools (89%) are not themselves subject to enforceable federal drinking water standards, including testing for lead, because they obtain their water from a public water supplier, typically a water district or a water utility company,” the report stated.

Furthermore, the study found that most lead testing programs are voluntary, with only 52% of states that have lead testing programs pay for them.

“Despite an uptick in awareness of and attention to the issue of lead in drinking water, many students in the U.S. attend public schools in states where not all taps are tested for lead,” the team said in the report.

Read the full report here.