The recent passage of Assembly Bill 2370 marks another step ahead for Californians’ drinking water, making it the eighth state in nation to call statewide attention to childcare drinking water safety.
The bill, authored by Assemblymembers Chris Holden and Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, and sponsored by the Environmental Working Group, is aimed at reducing lead exposure in drinking water in California licensed childcare centers. One in seven people in the U.S. live in California and 70 percent of children in licensed care go to licensed childcare centers.
AB 2370 requires a licensed child day care center that is located in a building that was constructed before January 1, 2010 to have its drinking water tested for lead contamination levels on a specified schedule. It also requires centers to notify parents or legal guardians of children enrolled in the day care center of the requirement to test the drinking water and the results of the test.
EDF analyzed and graded housing disclosure policies across the nation and found that only three states specifically require sellers to inform buyers if the property has lead pipes. EDF advocates for greater transparency in real estate transactions, so that homebuyers know whether their potential home has a lead service line.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is engaged in a process to derive a new, health-based benchmark for lead in drinking water. EPA’s draft report on approaches to develop such a benchmark is in a public comment period (ends April 5, 2017). Currently, through the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), EPA sets an action level for lead that essentially signifies a lead level at which water systems must undertake corrosion control actions.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in response to EPA’s draft report, has posted an excellent series of articles with clear explanations of the factors and considerations that underlie an understanding of lead exposure hazards: