Feb 24, 2017

Legislation May Require Massachusetts Schools to Test for Lead

Voluntary program found elevated levels of lead, copper in public schools

massachusetts, lead, schools, testing, bill, water, pipes

Nearly 80 lawmakers have signed onto a bill that would require public schools in Massachusetts to test their water pipes for lead. The bill also would require schools to install lead filters in all of their water taps.

The call to action comes one month after the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection released results from a voluntary program that tested the water at 930 public schools in Massachusetts for elevated levels of lead and copper. Out of the pending results, high levels of lead have been found in nearly half of the water samples. That includes samples taken from nearly 100 schools in western Massachusetts.

Norris Elementary School in Southampton has become the latest school in western Massachusetts to find elevated levels of lead and copper in their water taps. The school turned off most of their water after reviewing those results. The elementary school believes the lead is leaching from the pipes, not the water source itself.

Research group MASSPIRG released a report that suggests Massachusetts laws do not adequately prevent lead from leaching into the drinking water at our public schools. They graded 16 states based on the laws they have in place to prevent lead exposure, and Massachusetts received a “D.”

A group of public health advocates went to the statehouse on Wednesday, to urge our lawmakers to make some serious changes.