February 21, 2020

A new fact sheet aims to demystify tap water contamination and provide clear information on tap water safety for childcare providers and for parents of young children.

There are over 20 million children aged 5 and under in the United States and over half of them attend center-based childcare (as opposed to care by friends and family).  Facilities participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are required to make potable (safe) water available and offered throughout the day. States may have their own more stringent licensing requirements for drinking water provision in childcare and other states may require all licensed childcare facilities to comply with CACFP standards. But all families with young children should have safe drinking water.

Lead is a particular concern in the early years because young children are most vulnerable to its toxic effects. Infants fed formula that is reconstituted with tap water are at highest risk, if the tap water has unsafe le...

February 4, 2020

First established in 1991, the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) was developed to control the contaminants in drinking water by requiring water utilities to test tap water for lead and use corrosion control to prevent leaching of lead into water. However, it had substantial shortcomings, and the agency began the lengthy process to propose long-term revisions to overhaul the rule in 2010.

Last October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed revisions to the LCR and is accepting public comment until February 12, 2020.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a series of blogs assessing the revisions and recommending improvements:

Overview: "Despite its flaws, states and communities should get ahead of the curve on EPA’s proposed lead in drinking water rule" (Dec. 10). Provides an overview of key strengths and weaknesses in the proposal and highlights opportunities for proactive action by states and communities.

Lead Service Lines: "EDF asks EPA to strengthen k...

October 11, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its proposed new Lead and Copper Rule for a 60-day public comment period. 

EPA says, “The proposed rule will identify the most at-risk communities and ensure systems have plans in place to rapidly respond by taking actions to reduce elevated levels of lead in drinking water.”

The proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. Click here to read the proposed rule or to submit a comment. Comment period is scheduled to close on January 13, 2020.

  • EPA proposes to reduce partial lead service line replacements by requiring that all water systems with lead service lines must, subject to certain conditions, “replace the system-owned portion of the [service line] when a customer replaces their portion of the [line]” and must also follow up with practices to mitigate temporary elevations in lead after service line replacement

  • EPA proposes a new 10 ppb “trigger level” for lead in tap water, “a flexible provision designed t...

October 7, 2019

Despite many advancements in the field of children’s environmental health over the past few decades, today’s children face an epidemic of chronic disease and developmental disabilities, most of which are linked to environmental exposures and our changing climate. There remains an urgent need to put children and families back into the forefront of our nation’s decisions regarding health and environment.

October 10, 2019 marks the 4th annual Children’s Environmental Health Day. Led by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), it is an opportunity to raise awareness of children’s health issues, celebrate successes in the field, share exciting new initiatives, discuss new challenges and assess the road ahead.

Listed below are opportunities to take action on this special day: 

Drinking Water Safety Awareness: You can help raise awareness about tap water safety, and provide accessible and actionable information on what to do, with the Alliance’s fact sheet, Drinking Water Saf...

October 3, 2019

Research shows that the beverages young children drink have a major impact on their long-term health. And with all the choices available these days, it can be confusing for parents and caregivers to know which are healthy and which should be avoided. 


Now, there are new recommendations from some of the nation’s leading health and nutrition organizations, describing what drinks are best for the healthy growth and development of kids ages five and under.


These recent recommendations were developed by experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Heart Association (AHA), under the leadership of Healthy Eating Research (HER), a nutrition research organization, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

While every child is different, these organizations can all agree that for most, the following recommendations can help put them on a path towards healt...

October 2, 2018

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.

California made a legislative investment of...

September 10, 2018

Early childhood is a critical period for developing food preferences and dietary patterns. Despite dietary recommendations to limit or eliminate sugary drinks in early childhood, children ages 0 to 5 frequently drink these beverages. There is currently a lack of evidence on effective policy, systems, and environmental strategies to reduce sugary drink consumption and provide and promote water among children ages 0 to 5.

Healthy Eating Research (HER) recently released a national research agenda to address this evidence gap. HER used a rigorous, structured approach to develop the agenda, including conducting systematic literature reviews, surveying practitioners, and convening a scientific advisory committee, which included several National Drinking Water Alliance allies.

HER’s national research agenda presents thirteen key issues as priorities for future research efforts:

  1. Measures of consumption and baseline understanding of consumption patterns

  2. Beverages in the food reta...

August 7, 2018

Community members and advocates are uniting to help catalyze healthy living across the Navajo Nation, including passing healthy food and beverage policies, promoting healthy beverages with “water champions” and increasing water options at small grocery stores. All of the projects are part of the Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) organization’s drive to increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water among Navajo children. Working with families, Head Start Program staff, community health representatives, Navajo Chapter House leaders and tribal leaders, COPE hopes to empower Navajo families and their children to shift toward healthier, available choices.

Healthy Food & Beverage Policies:

With the successful passage of a healthy food and beverage policy resolution by five tribal councils, COPE is piloting the policies at three early childhood programs, including Red Mesa Head Start, Teec Nos Pos FACE, and Beclabito FACE. Based on the results of the pilots,...