All kids, no matter where they live, should have access to safe drinking water in school. Drinking water in place of sugary drinks is important for helping kids grow up at a healthy weight and promoting oral health, but water must be safe to drink. Reports of lead contamination have emerged in schools and communities across the country. The focus on this issue is deserved: even at low levels, lead exposure is harmful, especially for young children.
New research from National Drinking Water Alliance allies at the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California examined states’ efforts to test for lead in school drinking water.
Researchers detail their findings and the prevalence of elevated lead concentrations in tap water in public schools based on the available data in a new report, Early Adopters: State Approaches to Testing School Drinking Water for Lead in the United States. Researchers found that 24 states and the District of Columbia had policies or programs to test school drinking water for lead in operation between January 2016 and February 2018. Learn more about how states are taking action to address lead in school drinking water.
EPA recently released updated guidance on testing drinking water for lead in schools and childcare. Click here to access the new version of the 3T’s. The deadline for the EPA’s grant program for lead testing in school and child care drinking water has been extended to February 11, 2019.
The National Drinking Water Alliance website also features a number of great resources on school drinking water safety, including a fact sheet, a map of media reports of drinking water contamination incidents, and a webinar series.