If you live in California there's a one in five chance that this is true. Especially if you are still a schoolkid.
When faucets in California’s K-12 school campuses were tested for lead contamination, the truth emerged. Lead was detected in 20% of faucets.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that the California State Water Resources Control Board reported that 1,166 out of 6,595 schools tested found one or more fountains had water with more than 5 ppb of lead.
How bad is 5ppb?
Bad. Some schools did not test all drinking water fountains or faucets of potable water. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends water in schools not exceed 1 ppb lead.
“One-fifth of all K-12 schools have found at least one faucet on their campus that delivers a dose of lead to the children who use them,” said Susan Little, EWG’s senior advocate for government affairs in California. “These fountains are placed in areas easily reached by children, and many of the fountains haven’t been cleared. Parents should be concerned that their children might be drinking lead during recess.”
In California it's a state law that all K-12 public schools built prior to 2010 must test drinking water for lead contamination.
So.. has your kid's school conformed by doing the testing?
According to the state water board, “6,600 out of approximately 8,200 schools with this requirement have tested their water.”
California state law and regulation does not require schools to test all fountains and faucets with potable water. According to EWG, California state law requires schools have one drinking fountain for every 150 students. The result of this hazy law? Most schools have not been evaluating all drinking water sources, only performing between one and five tests.
So why is this so important?
Lead can cause a variety of issues including lifelong health damage and mental retardation – hardly a good thing for a kid trying to learn.
If you are in California and care about this, we heartily recommend a water filter with tested ability to continuously remove lead – and, of course, giving your precious kids a water bottle of the same pure water!