Lead is ongoing concern for school drinking water in U.S.
The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) reminded school districts to take steps to test for lead in their drinking water to keep children safe as they return to school. Studies indicate lead is an ongoing concern for many school districts across the country because of corrosion from aging infrastructure.
“We applaud the Chicago Public Schools and Philadelphia School District, among others, for testing their schools’ drinking water,” said WQA Deputy Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “District of Columbia Schools are testing each water fountain at each school building, which goes beyond federal mandates.”
The lead crisis in Flint, Mich., earlier this year brought nationwide attention to the lead issue in public water supplies. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (ug/dL) in children. In effect, there is no safe blood lead level in children.
“Nearly all the lead in users’ tapwater is the result of materials in older pipes and fixtures containing lead coming in contact with water after it leaves the treatment plant,” Undesser said. “As long as concerns about lead in drinking water persist, we’re reminding authorities and the general public to take the appropriate steps to safeguard children and residents.”
The selection of a particular device or system for health contaminant reduction should be made only after careful investigation of its performance capabilities based on test results. For more information on water treatment professionals and certified water treatment products, visit www.wqa.org. For more information on lead, visit www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ACCLPP/blood_lead_levels.htm.