A new study by the US Government Accountability Office has revealed that 43% of school districts have tested for lead. Approximately 35 million students who attend school within these districts were almost certainly exposed to some concentration of lead when drinking the tap water. Data for this study was collected in 2016, and the results were just made public as of July 17, 2018.
"This report should shock every member of Congress and jolt acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler into action," said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook
Here's what you need to know:
Of the 43% of school districts that tested positive for lead, 37% of them showed "elevated" levels.
And since the Environmental Protection Agency has fluctuating ideas on the word "elevated," we think its safe to assume that this means dangerous.
63% of the group that tested positive for the occurrence of lead in the drinking water was reported as "non-elevated" levels.
What seems to be framed as a relief is in fact very scary, especially when you consider how many developing children are exposed to even a small amount of lead. Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, hits the nail on the head with his remark after hearing about the results. "In the richest country on Earth, none of our children should be attending schools where the drinking water is contaminated with a heavy metal that causes brain damage."
Lead finds its way into the drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode and break down.
According to the EPA's website, the chemistry of the water and the age of the pipes are are the biggest contributing factor to corrosion. Tap water with high acidity or low mineral content can corrode pipes easier over time.
The health risks to lead exposure are extremely dangerous, especially to young children. Lead can accumulate in the blood and lead to a whole host of health issues such as learning problems, low IQ, delayed growth and more. Learn all about lead toxicity by visiting the EPA's detailed page.
Concerned parents can ensure their children stay clear of lead exposure by only drinking water from a filter that removes it. The Aquagear filter pitcher removes 99.9% of lead from the tap water. Just filter your home tap water and top up your children's reusable bottles! A lead filter pitcher is also a great companion for college students and those attending boarding schools or summer camps.