Lead contamination in drinking water is a problem that reaches far beyond the disaster in Flint, Mich., and threatens children’s health nationwide. We took some highlights from an investigative report by the USA TODAY NETWORK. We think it is alarming and under-reported.
“Many of the highest reported lead levels were found at schools and day cares.” According to the report. “A water sample at a Maine elementary school was 42 times higher than the EPA limit of 15 parts per billion, while a Pennsylvania preschool was 14 times higher, records show.”
At an elementary school in Ithaca, N.Y., one sample tested this year at a stunning 5,000 ppb of lead, the EPA’s threshold for “hazardous waste.”
When testing does reveal high lead levels, the USA TODAY NETWORK found many people were not warned as required. Of the 180 cited for failing to notify the public, almost half were cited more than once, records show.
In Ohio, in the past year, seven water systems serving a combined 8,800 customers failed to notify residents of potential lead contamination within 60 days as required. State records show six other Ohio water systems also did not provide timely warnings to residents after failing lead tests. The systems supply water to mobile home parks, a subdivision, an arboretum and a church and its day care.
In Arizona, several water systems that found unsafe amounts of lead in drinking water samples taken several years ago failed to act until February, after the USA TODAY NETWORK began requesting data about lead levels in drinking water.
The principal at a boarding school near the Navajo Reservation was unaware until February that water from a faucet in a church at the property tested high for lead in 2013.
Today, another headline: Students in a Brooklyn elementary-school classroom drank from a fountain whose water was more contaminated than Flint, Michigan- ” test revealed a staggering lead-concentration level of 15,000 parts per billion”
The list goes on and on. The water quality in this country is becoming unsafe at an alarming rate. This news comes as the EPA is being depleted. It is up to the people to bring awareness to these issues. You might be closer to Flint than the map shows.
Most of this comes from older lead pipes. Ask questions, run tests, raise awareness and demand change. Only we the people can address it, do not rely on the “standards.”
I don’t text much but I think this is where I’ve seen SMFH…being used.