Inconsistent testing standards leads to lead exposure in school drinking water

"The concern is that while we are not taking much action, children are being damaged on a generational level."

Image Credit: T. Kruesselmann/Getty Images

A new study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health confirms school children are being exposed to high levels of lead. Researchers reviewed lead testing programs from 25 state programs and found inconsistent testing standards that test for lead.

The study determined that 44 percent of the 11,000 schools tested “had at least one sample test positive for lead levels at or above state action levels,” EdcoWatch reported.

“Ensuring that all children have easy and appealing access to lead-safe school drinking water should be a health policy priority for relevant federal and state agencies and will support the promotion of drinking water as a healthy beverage of choice,” the authors of the Harvard study wrote.

While the World Health Organization says “there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe,” research proves that even low levels of lead exposure can cause health and learning problems.

“Lead is a neurotoxin, it drops IQ scores, it’s linked to aberrant behavior and violence,” Howard Kessler, a retired doctor and part of Physicians for Social Responsibility, said in a report by The Guardian.

The Harvard study found that only 15 states, of the 25, have laws or funding for testing school water for lead and an additional 10 states “have programs that are run through state environmental protection or health agencies,” EcoWatch reported. Very few states provide remediation, the study concluded.

“The concern is that while we are not taking much action, children are being damaged on a generational level. We are supposed to provide them with a safe environment, not poison them,” Kessler said in a report by The Guardian.


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