News Update

Tainted water persists in American schools, report shows

Many American public schools don’t have safe water for students to drink, USA Today reports.

Despite a flurry of testing, policy changes, and the movement to replace water infrastructure in recent years, many children are still exposed to lead at school, according to a new report, “Get the Lead Out,” published Thursday. 

Even a little lead exposure, such as from school water fountains, can harm health, impacting the brain and nervous system. Studies connect elevated lead levels to lower IQ and decreased focus as well as violent crime and delinquency. This threat is affecting students just as they struggle to recover from school closures in particular and the pandemic in general.

“We have known for some time that high levels of lead can cause severe health impacts — including anemia, kidney disease, abnormal brain function and even death,” the report says, USA Today reports.“Even tiny amounts of this toxic substance can harm our children.”

The report’s authors, John Rumpler and Matt Casale from the Environment America Research & Policy Center and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, urge state and federal policymakers to address lead exposure at school. Not only are the findings grim, but they are both well-established and long-reported. This is the third report since 2017 that has found such problems exist, USA Today reports.

Latest updates: