July 25, 2017

Alaska’s Play Every Day campaign shares new public education materials that feature local families and Alaska sports champions choosing to drink water or low-fat milk instead of sugary drinks. The nationally recognized campaign distributes free materials to motivate Alaskans to “Drink This” — water and low-fat milk — and “Not That” — sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are beverages that contain added sugar, which include sports and energy drinks, vitamin drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, powdered mixes, flavored teas and soda.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services launched Play Every Day in 2012 as a social marketing campaign that promotes positive health behaviors to help prevent and reduce childhood obesity and related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The campaign focuses on motivating Alaska families to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and to reduce the number of sugary beverages they drink.

As a social marketing campaign...

May 30, 2017

Where is tap water putting children at risk and how are state leaders responding?

University of California Nutrition Policy Institute and the National Drinking Water Alliance just released an interactive map identifying places across the country where drinking water has been rendered unsafe to drink by lead or other contaminants. The map was created to fill a gap:  there is little readily accessible information on the extent of tap water contamination across the U.S. 

Each pin tells a story: you can link to news articles about drinking water contamination around the U.S. You’ll see the states that have adopted policies or programs to test for lead in schools and childcare, and the states considering such action. You can sort each incident by Congressional district. The tool bar on the upper left side provides a legend feature and a layers feature to access the different types of information.

How does tap water get contaminated?  Source water can be contaminated by heavy...

April 3, 2017

We all want to live in #HealthyCommunities and access to safe drinking water is a huge part of that. Here's how one school district ensured students and staff are getting safe water.

In 2016, the St. Paul School District in Minnesota set out to ensure that all students and staff had access to safe drinking water. Between April and August 2016, they tested more than 6,500 samples from across the district’s 72 buildings for lead and copper, collecting samples from every tap from which students or staff might drink water, and all food prep taps.

Testing showed that the vast majority of taps (96.5%) were below the lead action level specified by the EPA and the Minnesota Department of Health. Of the 3.5% that tested above the action level in the first draw sample, only 13 taps tested high for lead after 15 seconds of flushing. The district’s facilities department immediately shut off all taps that tested above the action level in either test and worked quickly to remediate those fixt...

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